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: Lisa Catalano, MS, CGC

Catalano, Lisa Photo 71916

Lisa Catalano, MS, CGC: Ms. Catalano is an ABGC board certified genetic counselor (2011) with over 6 years of experience.  She received her master’s degree in genetic counseling from the University of Minnesota in 2010.  Ms. Catalano is a genetic counselor within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology where she provides clinical genetic counseling in the Emory Perinatal, Reproductive, and Women’s Cancer Centers.  Previously, she worked at Emory Genetics Laboratory as a molecular and cytogenetic laboratory genetic counselor.  Ms. Catalano has been involved with the program since its inception, working as a clinical supervisor and as a guest lecturer.  In addition to coordinating the clinical practicums for the program, Ms. Catalano is primary instruct for HGC 705: Introduction to Genetic Counseling, and co-instructor for HGC 720: Theory and Practice I and HGC 730b: Seminar II.

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

Altovise Ewing, PhD - Instructor, Department of Human Genetics

Dr. Ewing obtained her PhD in Genetics and Human Genetics in 2011, with an emphasis in genetic counseling, public health genomics, and cancer health disparities. During this time, she was a research assistant with the National Human Genome Center.  She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society from 2012- 2014. Her postdoctoral research was concentrated in Public Health Genomics and involved a community- based participatory model that evaluated multiethnic older adults' attitudes, beliefs, and interests in cancer biobanking. Dr. Ewing has held positions with the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center as a Genetics Information Specialist, a prenatal genetic counselor with the Genetics and IVF Institute and currently works as a cancer genetic counselor with Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan, GA.  She is passionately committed to educating and engaging underrepresented and underserved populations in clinical genetic research as a means of ensuring equitable utilization of and access to genetic and genomic health resources and services. Dr. Ewing is primary instructor for HGC 805: Public Health Genomics.

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).

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).

Ami Rosen, MS, CGC - InstructorDepartment of Human Genetics

Ms. Rosen graduated from Mount Sinai School of Medicine with her Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling in 2000 and became a board certified genetic counselor in 2002.  Ms. Rosen has over 16 years as a genetic counselor and a research coordinator.  She has worked in the field of Neurology with such diseases as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dystonia, Huntington’s, stroke, ALS, and many other movement and memory disorders. For many years, she was the Program Manager for the Dystonia Coalition, a collaboration of medical researchers and patient advocacy groups, supported by a grant from the NIH, and responsible for conducting several international, multi-site clinical research projects, providing career development and pilot project awards, and holding annual educational meetings.  She has served as Committee Director for the Georgia Association of Genetic Counselors. She is currently the Clinical Director for the Huntington Disease Society of America’s Center of Excellence for Huntington’s Disease at Emory University.  She provides genetic counseling to people at risk for Huntington’s Disease, and coordinates many clinical research studies for the Emory Department of Neurology.  Ms. Rosen as been with the program from its inception as a clinical supervisor and focus mentor.  She is co-instructor for HGC 750: Genetic Counseling Theory and Practice II and HGC 730a: Seminar I, and assists in the oversight of the Focus Internship program.

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).

Yuan Xue, MS, PhD, FACMG - Instructor, Department of Human Genetics

Dr. Xue received her MD in Wuhan, China and her PhD in Human Nutrition in Molecular Biochemistry through Kansas State University.  She completed an ABMG Molecular Genetics Fellowship through the UCLA Intercampus Medical Genetics program.  She is certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics in Clinical Molecular Genetics.  Her areas of specialization include molecular genetic diagnostic testing, molecular diagnostic testing for skeletal dysplasias, and the FGFRe signaling pathway.  She is currently laboratory director with Fulgent Laboratories in Atlanta.  Dr. Xue is co-instructor in HGC 755: Current Topics in Clinical Genetic Testing and HGC 820: Hot Topics in Genomics