Program Administration & Faculty

Director: Cecelia Bellcross, PhD, MS, CGC

Associate Professor - Emory Department of Human Genetics

Dr. Bellcross is an ABGC board-certified (1993) genetic counselor with over 25 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 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. Dr. Bellcross is primary instructor for Epidemiology & Biostatistics (HGC 707), Genetic Counseling Theory & Practice III (HGC 810), and co-instructor for Hot Topics in Genomics (HGC 820) and Genetic Counseling Seminar I-IV (HGC 730a-d). She also oversees the Focus Internship program.

Interim Assistant Program Director: Ami Rosen, MS, CGC

Emory Department 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 Genetic Counseling Theory and Practice I (HGC 720), Theory and Practice II (HGC 750) and Seminar I and Seminar II (HGC 730a & b),  and assists in the oversight of the Focus Internship program. As interim Assistant Director, Ms. Rosen will coordinate all clinical practicums. 

New Assistant Program Director - Lauren Lichten, MS, CGC

Start Date: June 3rd, 2019

Ms. Lichten received an M.S. in Genetic Counseling from Brandeis University in 2005 and became a board-certified genetic counselor in 2007.  She worked as a clinical genetic counselor in maternal fetal medicine, pediatrics, and adult neurology. Prior to joining the Emory Genetic Counseling Program in 2019, Lauren was an Instructor at the Boston University School of Medicine M.S. in Genetic Counseling Program and the Associate Director of the Brandeis Genetic Counseling Program. She was a Teaching and Learning Fellow at Brandeis University during the 2018-2019 academic year and received training in teaching pedagogy and assessment. Lauren served on the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Genetic Counselors from 2016-2019, most recently as Vice-Chair. She has been an item writer for ABGC and was an active member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. Currently, Lauren is on the planning committee for the NSGC Annual Conference, NSCG expanded carrier screening guidelines committee, and the ACGC program review committee.

Co-Assistant Director: Nadia Ali, PhD

Assistant Professor - Emory Division of Medical Genetics

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

Associate Clinical Professor - Emory Division of Medical Genetics

 Dr. Li is an ACMG board certified clinical and medical biochemical geneticist. 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. Dr. Li is primary course instructor for Medical Genetics I & II (HGC 745a & b). 



Lead Instructional Faculty

Kathryn Garber, PhD - Associate Professor, Director of Education, Emory Department 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 Human Genetics (HGC 715) and co-instructor for Current Topics in Clinical Genetic Testing (HGC 755) and Hot Topics in Genomics (HGC 820).


Dawn Laney, MS, CGC, CCRC - Assistant Professor, 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).


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

Ms Stanislaw is an ABGC board certified genetic counselor (1996) with over 20 years of experience. She received her master's degree in genetic counseling from the University of South Carolina in 1994. Ms. Stanislaw is the Director of Genetic Counseling for the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.  She has over 15 years experience as a clinical rotation supervisor, having worked with approximately 40 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 - Adjunct Instructor, Emory 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 for Current Topics in Clinical Genetic Testing (HGC 755) adn Hot Topics in Genomics (HGC 820).