Cecelia A. Bellcross, PhD, MS, CGC

Assistant Professor


Genetic Counseling Training Program

Office: 1462 Clifton Road, 310

Phone: 404-727-3281

Email: cecelia.a.bellcross@emory.edu

Additional Contact Information

Additional Websites


Following three years of teaching high school biology, I pursued the field of genetic counseling and have never looked back.  After two years with the U.W.-Madison Hospital and Clinics in their Prenatal and Biochemical Genetics Clinics,  I joined Dean Health System, Madison, WI where I  practiced as a clinical genetics counselor from 1992-2008. I developed and directed the Dean Cancer Risk Assessment Clinic, and specialized in cancer genetic counseling for the last 10 years of my clinical career.  Recognizing the growing impact of genetics on a population level, I completed my doctorate in Population Health Sciences, where my dissertation research involved development and evaluation of a hereditary breast/ovarian cancer genetics referral screening tool.  In 2010 I completed a two-year American Society of Human Genetics Public Health Genetics fellowship through the Office of Public Health Genomics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta.  While at the CDC, I was involved in several projects related to population-based screening and education for hereditary cancer syndromes, and promoting use of family history to identify risk for common disease.  Returning full circle to education, I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to develop and direct the new Emory University School of Medicine Genetic Counseling Training Program.

Areas of Specialization

  • Hereditary Cancers/Cancer Genetic Counseling and Risk Assessment
  • Public Health Genetics/Genomics
  • Family history screening tools in primary care
  • Genetic Counselor Education and Training


  • PhD, Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison Scholl of Medicine and Public Health, 2007
  • MS, Medical Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison Genetic Counseling Training Program, 1990
  • Secondary Science Education , Central Washington University , 1984
  • Biology, Central Washington University & University of Colorado-Denver, 1982

Board Certifications

American Board of Genetic Counseling - 1993

Professional Memberships

  • American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) (1993-current) 
    • Board of Directors (2011-current), Accreditation Committee Chair
  • American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) (2008-current)
  • American Society of Human Genetics (1990-current)
  • Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (2010-current)
  • National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) (1990-current)
  • NSGC Familial Cancer Risk Counseling Special Interest Group (1994-current)
    • Co-Chair (2003-2005)
  • NSGC Public Health Special Interest Group (2009-2010)
  • NSGC Personalized Medicine Special Interest Group (2009-2010)
  • Wisconsin Cancer Risk Programs Network (founding member, 2001-2008)

Honors and Awards

  • Markos Family Breast Cancer Research Grant, Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation – 2006
  • Madison “Top Docs” - 2008


Bellcross CA, Bedrosian SR, Daniels E, Duquette D, Hampel H, Jasperson K, Joseph DA, Kaye C, Lubin I, Meyer LJ, Reyes M, Scheuner MT, Schully SD, Senter L, Stewart SL, St. Pierre J, Westman J, Wise P, Yang VW, Khoury MJ. Implementing Screening for Lynch Syndrome among Newly Diagnosed Colorectal Cancer Patients: Summary of a Public Health/Clinical Collaborative Meeting. Genet Med. 2011, Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print] 

Pirzadeh-Miller S, Bellcross C, Robinson L, Matloff ET. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: helpful, harmful, or pure entertainment? Comm Oncol. 2011;8:263-268.

Bellcross CA, Kolor K, Goddard KA, Coates RJ, Khoury MJ. Awareness and utilization of BRCA1/2 testing among U.S. primary care physicians. Am J Prev Med 40:61-66, 2011.

Weissman S, Bellcross C, Chimera Bittner C, Freivogel ME, Larsen Haidle J, Kaurah P, Leininger A, Palaniappan S, Steenblock K, Vu TM, Daniels MS.  Genetic counseling considerations in the evaluation of families for Lynch Syndrome. J Genet Counsel, 2010 Oct 8. [Epub ahead of print]                    

Bellcross CA. Further development and evaluation of a breast/ovarian cancer genetics referral screening tool.  Genet Med 12(4):240, 2010.

Bellcross CA, Lemke AA, Pape LS, Tess AL, Meisner LF. Evaluation of a breast/ovarian cancer genetics screening tool in a mammography population. Genet Med 11(11):783-789, 2009.

Bellcross CA. Approaches to applying breast cancer risk models in clinical practice. Commun Oncol  6(8):373-392, 2009.

Zanni G, Bertini E, Bellcross C, Nedelec B, Froyen G, Neuhauser G, Opitz J, Chelly, J.  X-linked congenital ataxia: Mapping of a new locus to Xq25-q27.1.  Am J Med Genet 146A:593, 2008.

Ormond KE, Bellcross C, Weissman S.  Genetic risk assessment and BRCA mutation testing. Ann Intern Med 144(4):303-4, 2006