Clinical Laboratory Genetics Fellowship Programs

Overview

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania have a long and distinguished history in genetic and genomic diagnostics. Cytogenetic, molecular and biochemical laboratory training has been offered here since the inception of these fields, and in 2017 the program was certified for training in the newly created field of Laboratory Genetics and Genomics (LGG). Training in biochemical genetics takes place at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and training for the LGG program takes place at three sites on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania:

  1. The Division of Genomic Diagnostics in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  2. The Center for Personalized Diagnostics (CPD) in the Division of Precision and Computational Diagnostics in the Department of Pathology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 
  3. The Genetic Diagnostic Laboratory in the Department of Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Both the DGD and the CPD have integrated test menus with both molecular and cytogenetic/cytogenomic tests offered to promote a full scope of disease-specific, comprehensive testing.

The history, expertise and compassion that make Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia unique are also what makes it the best place for medical trainees.

Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellowship

The CHOP/Penn Laboratory Genetics and Genomics (LGG) Program is a two-year fellowship that provides ample exposure to a wide range of clinical genomic testing including cytogenetics, molecular cytogenetics, chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA), MLPA, Sanger sequencing, next generation sequencing panels, and exome sequencing. There are robust programs in both constitutional and cancer genetics. Fellows rotate across the campus, as well as with clinical services, bioinformatics, and laboratory genetic counseling. Over the course of the two-year program, fellows are provided opportunities to participate in test development and research.

Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Fellowship

The Immunogenetics Laboratory offers a Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Fellowship. Fellows will be registered with the American College of Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics (ACHI) for a two-year “director-in-training” fellowship to become an American Society for Immunogenetics (ASHI) approved director. Fellows receive extensive training in the performance, analysis, and interpretation of a broad range of serological and molecular diagnostic assays that support CHOP’s pediatric solid organ and stem cell (bone marrow) transplantation programs, as well as outreach client programs. The assays and methodologies the fellow will learn include:

  • HLA typing by NGS and other various methods
  • HLA antibody screening
  • Donor and recipient crossmatching
  • Engraftment monitoring (chimerism studies)

The primary solid organ transplantation programs served by the laboratory include renal, cardiac, pulmonary, and liver. Fellows will also have the opportunity to rotate within the Division of Genome Diagnostic Laboratory. Over the course of the two-year program, fellows will be encouraged to participate in new test development and other quality improvement initiatives.

Additional information about the ABHI approved program including eligibility requirements can be found on the ASHI website.

Fellowship training program directors

Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Program Director

Minjie Luo, PhD
Director, Division of Genomic Diagnostics
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
luom@chop.edu

Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Assistant Program Director

Jill Murrell, PhD
Assistant Director, Division of Genomic Diagnostics
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
murrellj@chop.edu  

Biochemical Genetics Training Director

Rebecca Ganetzky, MD
Division of Human Genetics
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
ganetzkyr@chop.edu

Immunogenetics Training Director

Anh Dinh, MD
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Assistant Professor of Pathology and Lab Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
dinha1@chop.edu

Conference schedules and courses

  • Monday: Division of Genomic Diagnostics Fellows’ Weekly Case Conference
  • Tuesday: Genetic Rounds
  • Tuesday: Genetic Fellows Didactics
  • Thursday: Genetic Fellows Journal Club
  • Thursday: Tumor Board (once per month)
  • Applied Laboratory Informatics course
  • Genetic Counseling course, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Medical Genetics course, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Current trainees

  • Rojeen Niazi, PhD, Laboratory Genetics and Genomics, third year   
  • Fumin Lin, PhD, Laboratory Genetics and Genomics, third year
  • Hou-Sung Jung, PhD, Laboratory Genetics and Genomics, second year
  • Jorune Balciuniene, PhD, Laboratory Genetics and Genomics, second year
  • Alison Muir, PhD, Laboratory Genetics and Genomics, first year
  • Erfan Aref Eshghi, MD, PhD, Laboratory Genetics and Genomics, first year

How to apply

The following is required for all applicants:

  • Experience in human genetics
  • One-year postdoc is strongly preferred

LGG Fellowship

To apply to the LGG program, applicants must send the following materials:

  • Application (PDF)
  • Most recent CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation

Application materials can be emailed to Gina Riggins Kohn, program coordinator, at rigginsg@email.chop.edu. Applications will not be considered until all documents, including letters of recommendation, are received.

We will be accepting applications for the July 2022 start from July 1 through August 30, 2021. Applications received after August 30, 2021, will not be held for the next start.

Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Fellowship

If you are interested in applying to the Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Fellowship, please contact Brooke Marcellus, Immunogenetics Laboratory Manager, at MarcellusB@email.chop.edu, and attach a copy of your CV.

Contact information

For more information or if you have additional questions, please contact:

Gina Riggins Kohn
Academic Coordinator
Division of Genomic Diagnostics
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
215-590-2930

Tobacco-free hiring policy

To help preserve and improve the health of our patients, their families and our employees, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a tobacco-free hiring policy. This policy applies to all candidates for employment (other than those with regularly scheduled hours in New Jersey) for all positions, including those covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Job applicants who apply after July 1, 2014 will be expected to sign an attestation stating they’ve been free of nicotine or tobacco products in any form for the prior thirty (30) days. They will also undergo a nicotine test as a part of the Occupational Health pre-placement drug screen administered after the offer of employment has been accepted but before the first day of hire.

Exemptions: Attending physicians (excluding CHOP physicians in the Care Network), psychologists, principal investigators and/or Penn-based faculty are exempt from this process to better align with our colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.