Human Genetics Department News

Meet Haley Director, Health Justice Scholar

Through the Health Justice Scholars program, Haley Director (HUGEN MPH '22) looks forward to engaging with the Spanish-speaking population in the Pittsburgh area to assess and address their needs. She plans to use her privilege and knowledge of the health care system to bring about systemic change and support those who have been historically marginalized and overlooked.   

Researchers scan DNA to learn how facial features form

THE CONVERSATION - Until very recently, geneticists had virtually no understanding of which parts of our DNA were linked to even the most basic aspects of facial appearance. HUGEN's John R. Shaffer and Pitt’s Seth M. Weinberg explore questions like: Can we reliably predict a person’s face from their DNA? What are the implications for health and disease?  

Liu's research on the genetics of facial shape wins award at major international conference

Dongjing Liu (HUGEN '20) won the International Genetic Epidemiology Society's first place poster award for his poster titled "Transcriptome-wide association study of human facial shape identifies potential mediating genes", which he presented virtually at the IGES Annual Meeting, July 1 - 4, 2020.  

Senter-Jamieson: 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination

Leigha Senter is a licensed genetic counselor and associate professor at The Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute where she has specialized in cancer genetics risk assessment for 17 years. Senter has more than a decade of research experience with a primary focus in BRCA gene-related projects with more than 80 peer reviewed publications. "It was at Pitt that I developed a clinical curiosity and a foundatio... 

Padiath lab receives donation for ADLD research

Hugen's Padiath lab received a donation for their ongoing research on Autosomal Dominant Leukodystrophy (ADLD). The donation to the Leukodystrophy Research Fund stemmed from a GoFundMe fundraiser in memory of Nancy Chen, which raised a total of $17,285. ADLD is one of a group of genetic disorders called leukodystrophies. This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is suffici... 

Innovation Institute reports record number of invention disclosures, despite pandemic

PITTWIRE - From swimming devices to rare disease gene therapies, Pitt inventors never stop: The Innovation Institute reported a record 394 invention disclosures for last fiscal year, and Director Evan Facher (HUGEN '97) says another robust year is ahead.  

Chancellor Gallagher shares his outrage, grief, and solidarity

In a letter to the community, Chancellor Gallagher shares his outrage, grief, and anger. He challenges us all to demonstrate solidarity by standing with Pitt’s African American students, faculty, staff, and alumni in a shared commitment to realizing meaningful change. "How many times must we witness these blatant examples of injustice, hatred, brutality, and discrimination before we resolve to change things?"  We must plot a path forward.  ... 

Dutta awarded scholarship from U.S. State Department

Congratulations to Justin A. Dutta (IDM '19, HUGEN '23) who was recently awarded a Critical Languages Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study Portuguese. With an acceptance rate of less than 10%, the Critical Language Scholarship is one of the country's most competitive scholarships and the most prestigious language program for U.S. citizens.   

HUGEN's Lisa Parker shares COVID-19 resources

Hugen’s Lisa Parker, director of the Center for Bioethics and Health Law, has made resources available for COVID-19 ethics, medical humanities, and narratives.  

Shaffer selected for the 2020 Craig Award for Excellence in Teaching

Congratulations to Dr. John Shaffer (HUGEN '08), assistant professor of human genetics and oral biology, on being selected for the 2020 James L. Craig Award for Teaching Excellence. Craig awardees are nominated annually by students and selected by a committee of students and past awardees.   

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