Laboratory Genetics & Genomics
The ABMGG training program for laboratory genetics and genomics (LGG) specialty consists of 36 months of full-time training in the specialty laboratories (cytogenetics & molecular) at Emory University in partnership with EGL Genetics. Training includes up to 4 months of concentration time, which is determined on a case-by-case basis.
EGL Genetics is a comprehensive and integrated clinical genetic testing facility that consists of a cytogenetics, biochemical genetics, and molecular genetics laboratory. The basic scope and objectives of the LGG training program are as listed below:
- LGG fellows receive hands-on molecular clinical laboratory experience which includes cutting edge techniques such Sanger sequencing, next-generation sequencing, and gene-targeted array CGH as well as more traditional techniques such as Southern blotting, fragment analysis, and various genotyping techniques. In completing these rotations, fellows will gain exposure to techniques that detect large and small sequence variations, assess methylation abnormalities, as well as detect maternal cell contamination.
- LGG fellows receive hands-on cytogenetics clinical laboratory experience which includes tissue culture (blood, tissue, amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, POC, bone marrow, tumor), chromosome banding, FISH, microarray, and oncology cytogenetics. In completing these rotations, fellows will gain exposure to techniques that assess germline aneuploidies, genomic rearrangements, copy number variants, absence of heterozygosity, and cyto-oncology.
- The trainees also receive hands-on experience in sample preparation, quality assessment, data, analysis, and reporting of all assays. They complete training and validation, becoming competent to independently perform testing on clinical samples. They analyze data and draft reports which are then reviewed one-on-one with an ABMGG-certified laboratory director.
- The trainees will also complete a rotation at Emory Medical Laboratory (EML) for four months in the cyto-oncology laboratory to collect cases for oncology G-banding, oncology FISH, and oncology microarray. Additionally, the fellow will complete a one month rotation at EML in the molecular pathology group with a focus on molecular oncology. Depending on the needs and interest of the fellow, additional rotation time with EML may be possible during the 4-months concentration period.
- Trainees complete one full year of didactic courses which include the Human Genetics (HGC 715) in the fall semester and Medical Genetics (HGC 745) in the spring at Emory University.
- All trainees must complete a total of at least 2 weeks, but preferably 1 month, training in the non-specialty laboratory (Biochemical Genetics). An additional rotation in the genetics clinic is also required, which must also include counseling sessions.
- During their clinical rotation, trainees encounter a significant number of patients with a broad range of different confirmed or potential genetic diagnoses and will be able to convey laboratory results directly to patients or their families.
- They attend weekly director meetings where laboratory operations and personnel issues are discussed. During CAP self-inspection years, trainees are paired with laboratory directors to conduct the self-inspection. During on-site inspections by CAP or other regulatory entities, trainees are invited to summations.
- Trainee fellows are required to attend several additional weekly or monthly training activities, including genetics grand rounds, genetics seminar, clinical conference, fellows lunch, and abnormal sign-out conference. In addition, fellows may attend metabolic rounds.
- In addition, trainees present cases at an abnormal sign-out conference attended by laboratory and clinical personnel. These cases allow the trainee to focus in-depth on an interesting case, hone their presentation skills, and discuss debatable points in a professional manner.
- Research opportunities are generally available (and could potentially include collaboration with research faculty, if applicable) but are quite variable in terms of goals and scope. Trainees learn test development and validation procedures by leading new test development or test improvement projects. All fellows are provided with protected research/method development time, but how this is utilized depends on the interests of the fellow and needs of the lab at that time.
Overall, this comprehensive training program is designed to make the trainee highly competent and capable to function as an independent laboratory director.