Division of Human Genetics Diagnostic Laboratories

  • Meet the Team

    The Molecular Genetics Laboratory services at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center are facilitated by talented faculty and staff members.

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    Director

    A photo of Kejian Zhang.

    Kejian Zhang, MD, MBA
    Director, Molecular Genetics Laboratory

    513-636-0121

    kejian.zhang@cchmc.org

    Kejian Zhang, MD, MBA

    Director, Molecular Genetics Laboratory

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-0121

    Fax: 513-636-2261

    Email: kejian.zhang@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Molecular genetics diagnosis of inherited immunodeficiency disorders and other genetic conditions

    Research Interests

    Molecular defects and molecular diagnosis of primary immunodeficiency diseases; Genetic aspects of predictive personalized medicine (pharmacogenetics)

    Education and Training

    MD: Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China, 1993

    MBA: University of Cincinnati, College of Business Administration, 2001

    Residency: Gong'an Hospital, Tianjin, China, 1993-1995

    Fellowship: Clinical Molecular Genetics Fellow, Division of Human Genetics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, 2002-2004

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Grants

    Macrophage Activation Syndrome Biomarkers in Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Co-investigator. National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Aug 2007 - Dec 2012.

    MUNC13-4 gene Polymorphisms in Macrophage Activation syndrome and Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Co-Investigator. National Institute of Health. Sept 2011 - Aug 2016.

    Associate Directors

    Taosheng Huang, MD, PhD

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-803-9260

    Email: taosheng.huang@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Human genetics; mitochondrial diseases.

    Visit the Huang Lab.

    Biography

    Taosheng Huang, MD, PhD, is a physician-scientist with substantial experience in translation research, particularly in mitochondrial medicine. After obtaining his MD, PhD, Dr. Huang did his pediatrics residency at Georgetown University Hospital 1993 to 1996. He completed his clinical genetics and clinical molecular genetics fellowship at Harvard Medical School and became a junior faculty member at the Children’s Hospital at Harvard from 1999. Dr. Huang is board-certified in pediatrics, clinical genetics and clinical molecular genetics. Dr. Huang moved to UC Irvine in 2001 and became a independent investigator. 

    The primary interest of his lab is in translation research, such as the genetic basis of optic atrophy and other mitochondrial diseases. Dr. Huang has published over 50 articles on a variety of topics that range from genetic syndromes to molecular mechanisms with experience and spectrum of interests. Recently, he has been working on mitochondria-related optic atrophy and the molecular basis of other mitochondria disease. He served as the director for the MitoMed Molecular Diagnostics Lab at UC Irvine for 8 years. The laboratory is CLIA-certified and mainly engaged in the study of molecular basis of mitochondria disease. The mutation of mitochondrial genome causes many human conditions, including cancer, diabetes and degenerative neurological disorders. Recently, Dr. Huang moved to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center to direct the program of mitochondrial medicine.  The goal of the program is to integrate the research, molecular testing and clinical service to improve the care of patients with mitochondrial disease.

    Education and Training

    PhD: Biomedical Science, Mount Sinai Medical School, New York, 1991.         

    MS: Biochemistry, The Third Military Medical College, Chongqing, China, 1986.

    MD: (Passed US Medical Board Exam step I, Step II and Step III), Fujian Medical College, Fuzhou, Fujian, China, 1983.

    Research Fellowship: Seidman Laboratory, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, Dec 1997-Jul 1999.

    Clinical Fellowship: Clinical Genetics and Clinical Molecular Genetics, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, Jul 1996-Jul 1999.

    Residency: Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical School, Children’s Medical Center, Washington, DC, Jul 1993-Jul 1996.

    Postdoctoral Fellowship: Jerome H. Holland Laboratory, American Red Cross, Rockville, Maryland, Dec 1991-Jul 1993.

    Publications

    Assistant Directors

    A photo of Amber Begtrup.

    Amber Hogart Begtrup, PhD
    Assistant Director, Molecular Genetics Laboratory

    513-803-3837

    amber.begtrup@cchmc.org

    Amber H. Begtrup, PhD

    Assistant Director, Molecular Genetics Laboratory

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-803-3837

    Email: amber.begtrup@cchmc.org

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    Biography

    Amber Hogart Begtrup received her PhD in genetics with a focus in human genetics from the University of California, Davis in 2003. During her PhD she conducted research to identify underlying molecular etiologies of autism through molecular genetic investigation of human chromosome 15q11-13. In 2003, Dr. Begtrup transitioned to the National Institutes of Health, where she simultaneously performed post-doctoral research in the realm of epigenomics and hematopoietic development and trained in clinical molecular genetics.

    While at the NIH, Dr. Begtrup was funded through the Pharmacology Research Associate Training Program sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. During her training, Dr. Begtrup developed interests in bone marrow failure disorders as well as the application of next generation sequencing technologies to clinical genetics.

    Education and Training

    PhD: University of California, Davis.

    Fellowship: Genetics, National Institutes of Health/National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, MD.

    Certification: Clinical Molecular Genetics, 2011.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications
    A photo of Alexander Valencia.

    C. Alexander Valencia, PhD
    Assistant Director, Molecular Genetics Laboratory

    513-803-9033

    alexander.valencia@cchmc.org

    C. Alexander Valencia, PhD

    Assistant Director, Molecular Genetics Laboratory

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-803-9033

    Email: alexander.valencia@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Proteomics, apoptosis, degradomics, protein-protein interactions, genomics, clinical molecular genetics, genetic testing, molecular diagnostics, next-generation sequencing  

    Biography

    C. Alexander Valencia, PhD, is a biochemist and clinical molecular geneticist who has basic and translational research programs in genomics and proteomics. His laboratory studies the biochemical mechanisms of apoptosis through a novel proteomic method called mRNA-display. Moreover, his translational research program, in the area of clinical molecular genetics, addresses the implementation of new molecular diagnostic platforms, including next-generation sequencing, in clinical genetic testing.

    Education and Training

    PhD: Ottawa-Carleton Institute of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, 2004.

    Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: Carolina Center for Genome Sciences and Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, 2009.

    Clinical Fellowship: Clinical Molecular Genetics, Department of Human Genetics, Emory University School of Medicine, GA, 2012.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Genetic Counselors

    Jessica A. Connor, MS

    Phone: 513-803-5247

    Email: jessica.connor@cchmc.org

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    Education and Training

    BS: Genetics, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI, 2009.

    MS: Genetic Counseling, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2011.

    A photo of Jennifer Holle.

    Jennifer R. Holle, LGC
    Genetic Counselor, Division of Human Genetics

    513-803-1602

    jennifer.holle@cchmc.org


    No photo available

    Judith A. Johnson, MS, CPM

    Project Manager

    Phone: 513-636-3479

    Email: juditha.johnson@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Barriers to genetic counseling;  innovative methods of providing complex genetic information to patients and physicians

    Biography

    Judith Johnson, MS, is a board-certified genetic counselor with extensive experience in many areas of medical genetics. Judith is currently co-investigator in several research projects.  Judith is also a certified Project Manager.

    Education and Training

    MS: Medical Genetics, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, 1985.

    MS: Clinical Behavioral Psychology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, 1995.

    Certification: Genetic Counseling, 1987; Project Management, 2010

    Publications

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    Chinmayee B. Nagaraj, LGC
    Genetic Counselor, Division of Human Genetics

    513-636-6779

    chinmayee.bhimarao@cchmc.org


    A photo of Elizabeth Ulm.

    Elizabeth A. Ulm, LGC
    Genetic Counselor, Division of Human Genetics

    513-803-4684

    elizabeth.ulm@cchmc.org

    Laboratory Supervisor

    A photo of Brian Richardson.

    Brian D. Richardson
    Lab Supervisor, Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Division of Human Genetics

    513-803-1408

    brian.richardson@cchmc.org