Stanford Genetics Rotation

The two month Genetics rotation in the Stanford Pathology Department is an interdisciplinary effort with faculty from the Departments of Pathology, Medicine, Pediatrics (Division of Medical Genetics), and Genetics.  The rotation provides approximately three weeks of formal training in three different laboratories within the Stanford Clinical Laboratory at Hillview:  Molecular Pathology, Cytogenetics, and Biochemical Genetics.  Residents are actively involved in assay performance and interpretation, as well as exposed to assay design and key quality assurance and regulatory issues in all three laboratories.  Residents have the opportunity to attend a variety of laboratory meetings, lectures, conferences, journal clubs, and clinics, and are encouraged to initiate a research project related to genetics during their two-month rotation.

During the Molecular Pathology rotation, residents are exposed to a wide range of molecular assays involving heritable, hematologic, and oncologic conditions.  Residents prepare and preview cases for daily sign-out.  Emphasis is placed on case-based learning, and this is supplemented by online teaching modules and weekly didactic sessions.  By the end of the rotation, residents should be familiar with basic molecular testing techniques, result interpretation, associated clinical significance, and underlying genetic principles.

The Cytogenetics rotation introduces residents to the cytogenetic techniques used for the detection of heritable and acquired chromosomal disorders, including chromosome analysis, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH).  Residents have the opportunity to perform chromosome analysis from culture initiation to report writing.  In addition, residents participate in FISH scoring and aCGH interpretation.  By the end of the rotation, residents should be familiar with cytogenetic methods, interpretation, and nomenclature, and they should understand the clinical significance of abnormal acquired and constitutional cytogenetic results.

The Biochemical Genetics rotation provides exposure to the application of chromatography and mass spectrometry to testing for a wide variety of metabolic disorders, including inborn errors of amino acid and organic acid metabolism and disorders of energy metabolism.  Residents work one-on-one with technologists and fellows in the laboratory to gain an understanding of specimen preparation, testing methodologies, and result interpretation.  Prior to daily sign-out sessions, residents preview the cases for the day and complete assigned unknown teaching cases.  By the end of the rotation the resident should be familiar with the methodology, interpretation, and clinical significance of common biochemical screening and diagnostic tests. 

Stanford Hospital and Clinics Clinical Laboratory
Stanford Molecular Pathology Laboratory
Stanford Cytogenetics Laboratory
Stanford Clinical Biochemical Genetics Laboratory

Tena Cherry, Ph.D., Cytogenetics Laboratory Director
Tina M. Cowan, Ph.D., Clinical Biochemical Genetics Laboratory Director
Melanie A. Manning, M.D., Cytogenetics Laboratory Associate Director
Jason Merker, M.D., Ph.D., Instructor of Pathology
Franklin Mullins, M.D., Ph.D., Instructor of Pathology
Iris Schrijver, M.D., Molecular Pathology Laboratory Director
Jim Zehnder, M.D., Molecular Pathology Laboratory Director

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