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Gail Jarvik, MD, PhD and Robin Bennett, MS, CGC, ScD Hon, have been named co-leads on a major multi-institutional grant from the Warren Alpert Foundation to fund continuing education and research efforts for genetic counselors. In addition to the University of Washington School of Medicine, partnering institutions include the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the lead institution managing the $9.7 million grant, Baylor College of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

The five institutions were chosen as recipients of the Warren Alpert Foundation grant money based on their clinical programs in genetics and genomics expertise, their existing genetic counseling masters programs and their history of engaging in research. The five institutions will work together to create and offer programs and opportunities for genetic counselors to advance their skills, including creating research opportunities, developing new curricula for advanced medical genetics trainings and exploring the development of a PhD curriculum and accreditation.

The Genetic Counseling Graduate Program (GCGP) at the UW School of Medicine was established with support from the Brotman Baty Institute in 2021. It was created in response to the advances in genomics and genetic testing and the growing demand for genetic counselors who can help translate genetic data and deliver compassionate genetic counseling services.