Human Genetics
human genetics

Human Genetics //

How does DNA
Determine Someone's
Predisposition
to Disease?
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our research centers

Our Research Centers

Get involved in one of our research centers, where you can join a research project or help translate its findings into public health practice and policy.
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Our Faculty

Our Faculty

Meet the faculty who will teach and mentor you, and learn about the innovative research projects they're directing.
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Our Alumni

Our Alumni

Read about what our graduates are doing in the human genetics field.
Meet our alumni

Human Genetics Graduate Programs

Human genetics is the study of how genes influence human traits, diseases, and behaviors, including how genetic and non-genetic factors interact. Public health genetics applies advances in human genetics and genomics to improve public health and prevent disease. Genetic counselors work as members of a health care team, providing information and support to patients dealing with birth defects or genetic disorders and those who may be at risk for inherited conditions.

The Department of Human Genetics is dedicated to genetics graduate programs which focus on research, teaching, and service, and embrace three major research missions:
  • Investigating the genetic causes and treatment of hereditary and acquired human illness
  • Understanding and exploring the impact of genetics on public health, education, and disease prevention
  • Appreciating the role of genetic diversity within human populations
The program emphasizes the study of genetic mechanisms related to the transition from normal to disease states, and studies how genes and the environment interact to affect the distribution of health and disease in human populations.

Find a research program for your interests

Human genetics research has helped answer fundamental questions about human nature and led to the development of effective treatments for many diseases that greatly impact human health. Faculty in the Department of Human Genetics have developed and used genetic methods to investigate the causes and treatment of hereditary and acquired human illness and to understand and explore the impact of genetics on public health, education, and disease prevention.

Pitt Public Health human genetics faculty and students currently are involved in varied research projects, including:
  • Finding genes that are risk factors for aging and age-related macular degeneration, and neurological and extracellular matrix disorders
  • Studying the genetics of obesity and muscle development, pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Identify genes responsible for primary (or inherited) lymphedema, also known as Milroy's and Meige's Disease
  • Studying a group of disorders with the shared trait of cutis laxa, a disease of prematurely loose, redundant, inelastic, and wrinkled skin
  • Researching the genetic basis of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and lupus
  • Developing and implementing state-of-the-art statistical methods for gene mapping and bioinformatics, especially next-generation sequencing
  • Studying genetic mechanisms underlying various cancers
  • Studying the influence of family health histories on risk perception
  • Exploring individuals’ experiences of facing genetic risk

Pursue a career in human genetics

Graduates of Pitt Public Health’s human genetics program typically go on to positions in academia or in industry and usually are employed by their graduation dates. Alumni currently are working in clinical and research firms, including:
  • Associate professor, operations director, and senior lab director, Emory Genetics Laboratory
  • Staff, Labeling and Consumer Protection Division, USDA
  • Research manager, Harris Interactive
  • Clinical genetic counselor, Kaiser
  • Associate director, Northwestern University Genetic Counseling Program

Degrees

The Department of Human Genetics offers three master’s level programs, and two doctoral programs:

What's Happening @ Pitt Public Health


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UPCOMING EVENTS:


Orientation for New Students

8/22/2014 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Welcome Back

8/25/2014 12:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Welcome Back

8/26/2014 12:00 PM - 4:30 PM

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8/13/2014

Announcing the Group Lifestyle Balance Program

The Group Lifestyle Balance program supports our mission as a public health school. To register or ......

8/04/2014

Screening and Drug Therapy Predicted to Make Hepatitis C a Rare Disease

Newly implemented screening guidelines and improved, highly effective drug therapies could make hepa......

7/16/2014

Five Pitt Public Health Faculty Named to Highly Cited Researchers List

Five members of the Pitt Public Health faculty have been included in the 2014 list of most highly c......

7/08/2014

Pitt Study Finds Telephone Treatment of Depression After Cardiac Bypass Surgery Improves Outcomes, Saves Money

Screening for depression and then providing a telephone-delivered, nurse-led “collaborative care” in......

7/01/2014

Pittsburgh Epidemiologist honored as a Gerontological Society of America Fellow

Elsa S. Strotmeyer, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate Scho......

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