Directory Calendar News Careers Alumni Giving

Human Genetics
human genetics

Human Genetics

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

Our Research Centers

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

Our Faculty

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

Join the entire Pitt Public Health community in support of the second Day of Giving on Pitt’s Founder’s Day, February 28, 2018. 

Participation is the primary goal, so every gift counts! 

Support today....

 

Lee discovers breast cancer mutation

“We think we now have tools t...
Lee discovers breast cancer mutation

“We think we now have tools to measure changes to tumors that have become resistant to therapy,” says HUGEN’s ADRIAN LEE, who identified a new genetic change in the estrogen receptor that hinders treatment of breast cancer in some patients, uncovering new clues for potential improved treatments for... (02/09/2018)

Dudley finds mutations in individuals with pancreatic cancer and history of other cancers

MEDICAL X-PRESS - "At least 1...
Dudley finds mutations in individuals with pancreatic cancer and history of other cancers

MEDICAL X-PRESS - "At least 18 percent of individuals with pancreatic cancer and a personal history of other HBOC- or LS-related cancers carry mutations in a pancreatic cancer susceptibility gene based on our data, suggesting that criteria for genetic testing in individuals with pancreatic cancer s... (02/07/2018)

Lee looks to genes to develop more targeted breast cancer therapies

HEALTH NEWS DIGEST - The curr...
Lee looks to genes to develop more targeted breast cancer therapies

HEALTH NEWS DIGEST - The current movement in breast cancer research is matching DNA with targeted therapies and HUGEN's ADRIAN LEE is at the forefront. "We know now that no two cancers are alike...the concept is, with our ability to more comprehensively understand the genetic basis of the disease, ... (01/25/2018)

Vockley on UX007 development program in long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorder patients

STREET INSIDER - Human genetic...
Vockley on UX007 development program in long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorder patients

STREET INSIDER - Human genetic’s JERRY VOCKLEY, principal investigator on the program, noted, “I am very excited about our Phase 2 and other clinical results showing the near elimination of hypoglycemia and reduction in cardiomyopathy, addressing two of the major life-threatening symptoms in these d... (01/04/2018)

Do your ears hang low? (Hugen VIDEO)

UPMC/PITT HEALTH SCIENCES NEWS...
Do your ears hang low? (Hugen VIDEO)

UPMC/PITT HEALTH SCIENCES NEWSROOM - Public health and dental medicine geneticists from the University of Pittsburgh found that at least 49 genes underlie earlobe attachment. What does this research mean and why is it important? (12/20/2017)
© 2018 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

Login  |  Sitemap