Jane Gitschier, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Medicine and of Pediatrics
Dr. Gitschier is interested in discovering the genetic basis for absolute pitch, the uncanny ability to identify the pitch of a tone without a reference tone. This study has generated new insights into pitch perception. A second research area involves genetic genealogy and privacy. With a passion for genetics history, she is also the interviews editor for the open access journal PLoS Genetics and is currently working on a book project on the dawn of human molecular biology in the 1970s.
Barbara Koenig, PhD
Professor, Institute for Health and Aging, and Department of Anthropology, History, and Social Medicine
Director, UCSF Bioethics
Dr. Koenig is an anthropologist working in the inter-disciplinary field of bioethics. She founded and led Biomedical Ethics Research Programs at Stanford and Mayo Clinic. Dr. Koenig pioneered the use of empirical methods in the study of ethical questions in science, medicine, and health. Her current interests include characterizations of race in a genomics age, emerging genomic technologies, including biobanking, return of research results to participants, and using deliberative democracy to engage communities about research governance. She has been an active participant in policy development both at a federal level and through her role as fellow of the Hastings Center.
Miriam Kuppermann, PhD
Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
Dr. Kuppermann has an active research program focusing on informed decision making in the context of prenatal and adult genetic testing. Dr. Kuppermann has led numerous NIH, AHRQ, foundation and industry-funded studies of these issues in socio-demographically diverse populations, which have included conducting extensive formative research on patient preferences and experiences, developing decision tools with values clarification components, and conducting randomized controlled trials of the effectiveness of these tools among patients facing genetic testing decisions.
Robert Nussbaum, MD
Holly Smith Professor of Science and Medicine
Chief, Division of Genomic Medicine, Department of Medicine
Graduate Program Membership: BMS
Dr. Nussbaum studies genetic contributions to developmental, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disorders. Two areas of concentration are Lowe syndrome and Parkinson disease. Dr. Nussbaum’s group identified the defective gene that causes Lowe syndrome and pioneered the delivery of genetic services and counseling, including carrier testing, to families of Lowe syndrome patients. In his Parkinson disease work, he identified a missense mutation and established the alpha-synuclein gene (SNCA) as a cause of hereditary, early onset Parkinson Disease. His group also focuses on mouse models, and has engineered several transgenic mice expressing mutant human alpha-synuclein that show a severe, rapid neurological deterioration.