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Human Genetics Predoctoral Training Program

physician in discussion with a patient

The Johns Hopkins Predoctoral Training Program in Human Genetics educates students in human biology and all aspects of human genetics and genomics including health and disease.

The overall objective of the Human Genetics program is to provide our students with a strong foundation in basic science by exposure to a rigorous graduate education in genetics, genomics, molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry and biostatistics as well as a core of medically- related courses selected to provide knowledge of human biology in health and disease.

The Johns Hopkins Predoctoral Training Program in Human Genetics (HG) has grown steadily since its inception in 1980 in parallel with the spectacular growth of genetics and genomics and their application to medicine over the last three decades. Similarly, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (SOM) continues to make commitments to human genetics as evidenced by the establishment of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine (IGM) in 1999, and the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine | Department of Genetic Medicine (DGM) in 2019; as well as the provision of state of the art research space in 2004, and the 2009 introduction of a new medical school curriculum known as The Genes to Society curriculum, which has genetics and genetic-thinking as an underlying principle. In 2013, the DGM continued to grow with the field by partnering with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to create the Maryland Genetics, Epidemiology, and Medicine Training Program (MD-GEM), funded by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund/MD-GEM takes a multidisciplinary approach by combining the expertise of all three institutions, to foster the development of a new generation of scientists. 

Administrative Structure and Program Leadership 

Director: David Valle (email)

Associate Director: Kirby Smith (email) Assistant Director: Andrew McCallion (email) Administrator: Sandy Muscelli (email

Dr. Valle works closely with Dr. Kirby Smith, Dr. Andy McCallion and the Program Administrator, Ms. Sandy Muscelli, to deal with the day-to-day responsibilities of the program. Dr. Smith has a wealth of experience mentoring graduate students and has been Associate Director since the program’s inception. Dr. McCallion has served as Assistant Director for several years and provides valuable guidance to students throughout their training. Ms. Muscelli continues to serve as the Administrator for HG, a position she has held since 1989. She organizes all aspects of the recruitment and admission processes, manages the budget, and handles the daily administrative duties. She should be the first person you contact if you have problems. 

Additional input is provided by members of the Executive Committee: Susan Michaelis, Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Roger Reeves, Professor of Physiology and Hilary Vernon, Associate Professor Department of Genetic Medicine. All members of the Executive Committee are extensively involved in the selection and recruitment of our students and in counseling students with questions and/or problems. 

Student Representatives

Student Representatives are selected from various classes to speak on behalf of students throughout their graduate careers. Responsibilities include organizing a number of events throughout the academic year including the Barton Childs Lecture and events, student activities related to recruiting, the practice talks for students prior to their comprehensive exams, and orientation for the incoming first years. Additionally, the senior student representative attends faculty meeting and convey pertinent information from these meetings to all HG students. When necessary, they act as a conduit between the students and program administration. If you are interested in taking on this role, please talk with Sandy. 

• Class of 2015: Arianna Franca Anzmann (

• Class of 2016: ThuyVy Duong (

• Class of 2017: Matt Nguyen (

• Class of 2018: Rebecca Munday (

• Class of 2019: Rachel Boyd (