Program Administration & Faculty

Director: Cecelia Bellcross, PhD, MS, CGC

Bellcross Dr. Bellcross is an ABGC board-certified (1993) genetic counselor with over 20 years of experience. She received her master's degree in medical genetics through the University of Wisconsin-Madison Genetic Counseling Training Program in 1990, and her PhD in Population Health Sciences from U.W.-Madison in 2007. She practiced 18 years as a clinical genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics and supervised students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for over 10 years. Dr. Bellcross has a background in education, and recently completed a two year ASHG fellowship in Public Health Genomics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her areas of research interest and expertise include screening for hereditary cancers and public health genomics. She joined the faculty of Emory University in 2010 to develop and direct the new Genetic Counseling Training Program.

Assistant Director: Emily Lisi, MS, CGC

Lisi Ms. Lisi is an ABGC board certified genetic counselor (2005) with over 12 years of experience. She received her master's degree in genetic counseling from the University of South Carolina in 2002. Ms. Lisi is a senior genetic counselor and clinical instructor within the Emory Lysosomal Storage Disease Clinic, where she provides clinical genetic counseling and serves as a clinical research coordinator for patients with LSDs. Previously, she worked at University Hospitals/Case Western Reserve and Johns Hopkins University as a senior genetic counselor in various general, metabolic and specialty genetics clinics and at Duke University as a genetic counselor in a basic science laboratory.  She has over 10 years experience as a clinical rotation supervisor and thesis advisor, having worked with students from four different training programs. Her current research interests involve the clinical and psychosocial impacts of newborn screening for lysosomal storage disorders. 

Co-Assistant Director: Nadia Ali, PhD

Ali Dr. Ali earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1998 and completed both an internship in Neuropsychology and a post-doctoral fellowship in Health Psychology. She is Director of Psychological Resources for the Emory Genetic Clinical Trials Unit, where she participates in clinical drug trials for genetic conditions such as Down Syndrome, Autism, and Phenylketonuria, as well as conducting her own clinical research into cognitive and psychological manifestations of lysosomal storage diseases and other metabolic disorders.  Prior to coming to Emory, she pioneered a program for Kaiser Permanente Georgia embedding mental health care within teams of Hospitalist physicians.  She has extensive experience working with chronically ill medical populations.   Dr. Ali is co-coordinator/instructor for the 1st-year Genetic Counseling Theory and Practice I & II courses (HGC 720 & 750), as well as the Standardized Patient Experiences.

Medical Director: Hong Li, MD, PhD


  Dr. Li is an ACMG board certified clinical and medical biochemical geneticist and Associate Clinical Professor with the Emory Division of Medical Genetics. She received her Medical Degree in China, her PhD in Japan, completed a residency in pediatrics and medical genetics through Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center in 2012, and a medical biochemical genetics fellowship at Harvard Medical School in 2013.  Dr. Li specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of inherited metabolic disorders, lysosomal storage diseases, and genetic disorders involving dysmorphic features and intellectual disability.  Dr. Li joined the Emory Genetic Counseling Training Program in 2015 to become the new medical director.

Lead Instructional Faculty

Lora Bean, PhD - Assistant Professor, Emory Department of Human Genetics; Director Emory Clinical Molecular Genetics Laboratory. 

Dr. Bean earned her PhD in Human Genetics from Case Western Reserve University, and is boarded in molecular genetics through the ABMG.  Her research interests involve exploring the role that genetic variation within known congenital heart defect genes play in the etiology of heart defects in children with Down syndrome. Dr. Bean’s clinical laboratory work focuses on use and interpretation of microarrays in evaluation of individuals with congenital anomalies, physical or developmental disabilities. Dr. Bean is co-course coordinator/instructor for Current Topics in Clinical Genetic Testing (HGC 755).

Kathryn Garber, PhD - Assistant Professor, Director of EducationDepartment of Human Genetics

Dr. Garber earned her PhD from Harvard Medical School in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.  Dr. Garber is integrally involved in genetics education at Emory University School of Medicine, where she chaired the committee that developed the new Genetics and Evolution module for the first year medical curriculum and serve as course director for the class. She directs and teaches the Human Genetics Module for the physician assistant training program, and coordinates the Human Disease Genetics training grant for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the department. She is the past Deputy Editor of The American Journal of Human Genetics. Dr. Garber is the primary instructor for the Human Genetics course (HGC 715).

Karen Grinzaid, MS, CGC, CCRC - InstructorDepartment of Human Genetics

Ms. Grinzaid received her master's degree in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College, NY in 1984.  She obtained her certification from the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 1987, and is also certified by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.  Since joining the Emory Division of Medical Genetics in 1986, Ms. Grinzaid has been involved in prenatal counseling, newborn screening, pediatric, and adult genetic services, and has coordinated clinical trials for Gaucher disease and other lysosomal storage diseases. She is currently Co-Director for Emory's Gene Screen Program. Ms. Grinzaid is the co-coordinator/instructor for the Introduction to Genetic Counseling and Genetic Counseling Theory and Practice III courses (HGC 705 & 810).

Dawn Laney, MS, CGC, CCRC - Instructor, Emory Department of Human Genetics 

Ms. Laney is a genetic counselor at Emory University in the Division of Medical Genetics. Ms. Laney received her master’s degree in medical genetics from the Sarah Lawrence College in 1999. She received her certification from the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2002. Since joining the Emory Division of Medical Genetics in 2002, Ms. Laney has been involved in follow-up of abnormal metabolic newborn screening for the state of Georgia, development and management of a genetic infusion center, and lysosomal storage disease clinical care and research. She is currently the program leader for the Emory Lysosomal Storage disease center.  She serves on the Emory biomedical IRB committee and is a board member of the Southeastern Regional Genetics Group. Ms. Laney is the primary instructor for the Developmental Biology and Human Malformation course (HGC 725).

Patricia Page, MS, CGC - Instructor; Director, Genetic Counseling Services. Emory Department of Human Genetics

Ms. Page obtained her MS in Genetic Counseling from the University of Texas at Houston, and her board certification from ABGC in 1999. Her primary clinical and research interests include newborn screening and public health.  She served as assistant director for the Emory Genomics and Public Health Program, and was the Newborn Screening Program Manager in charge of providing oversight and follow-up of all abnormal newborn screening results in the state of Georgia.  Ms. Page has been actively involved in the NSGC Public Health SIG and the American Public Health Association.  Ms. Page is the primary instructor/coordinator for the online Public Health Genomics course (HGC 805). 

Katie Rudd, PhD - Assistant Professor, Emory Department of Human Genetics

Dr. Rudd earned her PhD in Genetics from Case Western Reserve University, and is boarded in clinical cytogenetics through ABMG.  Her research interests involve exploring variation at the human chromosome level, and investigating the mechanisms and epigenetic effects of deletions, duplications, translocations and more complex chromosome rearrangements.  Dr. Rudd is co-course coordinator/instructor for Current Topics in Clinical Genetic Testing (HGC 755).

Christine Stanislaw, MS, CGC  - Instructor, Emory Department of Human Genetics

Ms Stanislaw is an ABGC board certified genetic counselor (1996) with over 16 years of experience. She received her master's degree in genetic counseling from the University of South Carolina in 1994. Ms. Stanislaw is a senior genetic counselor with the Division of Medical Genetics, where she provides adult and cancer counseling. She helped to develop the Emory Cancer Genetics Program, and has been the Program Leader since 2006. She has over 10 years experience as a clinical rotation supervisor, having worked with approximately 25 students from four different training programs. She successfully obtained funding to develop genetic counseling and testing for under-served populations in Atlanta, and is involved in clinical research on familial ALS. Ms. Stanislaw is a cancer clinical supervisor, and primary course instructor for Genetics of Common Diseases (HGC 760).