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    TCGA News


    Genetic Counseling Program begins at Indiana State University

    The Master of Science in Genetic Counseling Program (MSGC) is an interdisciplinary program between the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, and the Bayh College of Education at Indiana State University. 

    Indiana State University now offers a two year master’s degree for genetic counseling.  The mission of the Program is to consistently prepare students with exceptional technical knowledge and skills in genetics, genomics, and psychological counseling that will enable them to be successful in all aspects of genetic counseling.  The program will foster an environment that helps students develop ambition for educating others and generates a passion for lifelong learning.

    During the first year, students are on the Indiana State University Campus for course work and clinical experience at the Indiana State University Genetic Counseling Clinic at Union Hospital as well as other local experiences.  During the second year of the program, the students have the opportunity to be in a variety of locations for the remained of their training and clinical experiences.  Course work is online while the students are participating in six different clinical specialty experiences to gain first hand skills as a genetic counselor.  By participating in six different hospital/industrial systems, our students will have a breath of knowledge and experience that will make them competitive in any job market.

    Genetic counseling is a young and quickly growing profession that began in the early 1970s with 10 graduates from Sarah Lawrence.  There are currently over 4, 000 certified genetic counselors in the United States and Canada with the demand growing more quickly than the current training programs can accommodate. 


    U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the projected growth is an incredible 29% from 2014-2024.


    The Boston Globe named genetic counseling one of the "30 fastest-growing jobs by 2022" with a projected 41.2% increase in job positions


    Crain's Chicago Business named genetic counseling one of the "10 most in-demand Chicago jobs in 2016 (that pay $60,000 plus)"

    Genetic Clinic opens at Union Hospital through a partnership with Indiana State University

    Indiana State University (ISU) and Union Hospital have partnered to establish a genetic counseling clinic in Terre Haute, Indiana which opened in August of this year. With the opening of the new Master’s program in Genetic Counseling at ISU, we now have a licensed and board certified genetic counselor available locally to provide risk assessment for individuals with a personal or family history of cancer as well as a personal or family history of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar.

    The clinic is located on the 2nd floor of the Hux Cancer Center (1711 N. 6 ½ Street, Terre Haute, IN 47804). Healthcare providers can refer patients for genetic counseling by calling (812) 238-7504. If a provider would like to determine if a referral is appropriate, you may contact the clinic director and genetic counselor, Megan Tucker, MS, LGC, at (812) 237-9032 or by email at megan.tucker@indstate.edu.

    This is an opportunity to determine if there is a need in the Wabash Valley for Cancer Genetic Counseling Services. In addition, we have received a grant from the Susan G. Komen Organization to support patients with breast cancer that need assistance covering the cost of testing and/or travel to the clinic for our services.

    Center for Genomic Advocacy Bioinformatics Core at Indiana State University is coming soon

    The rapid increase in the rate of data generation and the necessary integration between basic and clinical research is dependent on strong bioinformatics support; including high performance computing, data management and access, and bioinformatics analysis and integration of data. The need for this kind of support is growing rapidly as more scientists adopt these technologies for both basic and clinical research. This core will provide computational analysis and support for investigators who are also utilizing the sequencing equipment available in TCGA, and wish to couple data generation with analysis.

    The Services provided by the Bioinformatics Core fall into several categories.
    1. Fee for service data analysis. We focus on providing bioinformatics analysis of various types for researchers who do not have this skill set in their laboratory and do not wish to invest in the personnel.

    2. Fee for service support for applications, development (programming) for specific bioinformatics related applications, web pages, databases and other groups.

    3. Training for researcher and staff on NGS sequencing tools and data analysis methods.

    4. Long-term support for projects will be funded by supporting part or all of a bioinformatics staff, programmer or developer, or faculty on a grant, rather than a specific recharge model which is more appropriate for individual projects.


    Center for Genomic Advocacy continues partnership with Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

    A team representing the Center will participate in the Komen Wabash Valley Race for the Cure on Saturday, Oct. 8. The race site, which is located at the Meadows Shopping Center parking lot, will open at 7 AM. Anyone wishing to participate on the Center’s team can go to http://indy.info-komen.org/site/TR?fr_id=6532&pg=teamlist. Please contact Dr. Catherine Steding (Catherine.steding@indstate.edu) with any questions.


    SURE 2016

    The Center for Genomic Advocacy had 17 undergraduate student researchers participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program this past summer. Student researchers did work in areas including

    • personalized medical approaches to improving cardiovascular health,

    • investigating genes involved in cardiac development,

    • identifying clusters associated with cancer development,

    • researching the relative effectiveness of different disinfectants in preventing foodborne illness,

    • investigating genetic diversity among a geographically confined population of white-tailed deer,

    • identifying links between particular genes and traits in white-throated sparrows,

    • researching resistance of breast cancer cells to chemo-therapeutic drugs,

    • and investigating the different values, attitudes, and beliefs between scientific researchers and parents regarding the use of newborn screening blood samples in genetic research.

    • Developing computational methods and building bioinformatics databases by integrating various genomic and proteomics tools/databases, and analyzing next-generation sequencing data.


    SURF 2016


    The Center for Genomic Advocacy is hosting several new Indiana State undergraduate students as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. Students are engaged in research in a variety of areas including:

    • the current and developing role of genetic counselors in medical practice

    • ethical issues related to informed consent in genetic research, with particular emphasis on the use of newborn screening data in genetic research

    • Running a variety of bioinformatics tools on big data sets.