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Human Genetics
human genetics

Human Genetics //

How does DNA
Determine Someone's
Predisposition
to Disease?
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Our Research Centers

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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.
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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:

 

Why you could lose more weight WITHOUT using pedometers to hit your targets

MIRROR - Pitt Public Health re...
Why you could lose more weight WITHOUT using pedometers to hit your targets

MIRROR - Pitt Public Health researchers Candy Kammerer (HUGEN), Ryan Minster (HUGEN), Trevor Orchard (EPI), Chip Reynolds (BCHS), Akira Sekikawa (EPI), and Jian-Min Yuan (EPI) have discovered that apps for weight loss may not be the dieting aid you were hoping for. (01/27/2017)

Obituary: M. Michael Barmada of human genetics

UNIVERSITY TIMES - Faculty mem...
Obituary: M. Michael Barmada of human genetics

UNIVERSITY TIMES - Faculty member M. MICHALE BARMADA (HUGEN) died December 2, 2016, of gastroesophageal cancer.... Barmada was among the first Pitt researchers to tackle next-generation sequencing. Colleagues remember not only his intellect and skills in computational genetics, but also his strong d... (01/05/2017)

Mayo Clinic, Regeneron Genetics Center Join Accelerator in Sequencing Project for PSC

GENETIC ENGINEERING & BIOTECHN...
Mayo Clinic, Regeneron Genetics Center Join Accelerator in Sequencing Project for PSC

GENETIC ENGINEERING & BIOTECHNOLOGY NEWS - … Dr. Boyette co-founded Curable in 2014 with younger brother Jon, who has PSC, and Dietrich Stephan, Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and former executive director of the G... (11/18/2016)

Meet Amanda Everman (HUGEN '18), Dean's Scholar

“I don’t think I chose public ...
Meet Amanda Everman (HUGEN '18), Dean's Scholar

“I don’t think I chose public health. Public health chose me....The more I learned about genetics, the more I knew it was what I wanted to focus on for my career,” she says. The Philadelphia native and Penn State grad says the short distance from her hometown and in-state tuition are nice bonuses, a... (10/25/2016)

Correcting Metabolic Deficiencies May Improve Depression Symptoms

Identifying and treating metab...
Correcting Metabolic Deficiencies May Improve Depression Symptoms

Identifying and treating metabolic deficiencies in patients with treatment-resistant depression can improve symptoms and in some cases even lead to remission, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine published online today in the American Journal of Psychiatry. (08/12/2016)
© 2017 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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