Melanie F. Myers, PhD

Director, Genetic Counseling Graduate Program

Academic Affiliations

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Phone 513-636-8448

Fax 513-636-0543


Evaluating family health history as a health promotion and disease prevention tool; direct-to-consumer marketing of genetic testing; and outcomes research in genetic counseling

Melanie Myers, PhD, directs the Cincinnati Genetic Counseling Graduate Program. Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. Students are trained to interpret family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence, provide education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources and research and counseling patients to promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition.

Dr. Myers has a background in genetic counseling, public health genomics, and applied epidemiology. Prior to joining the Cincinnati Genetic Counseling Graduate Program, Dr. Myers worked in the Office of Public Health Genomics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a public health geneticist. While there, she led a multi-state investigation to monitor the impact of the first direct-to-consumer marketing campaign for genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility (BRCA1/2). This was the first coordinated public health response to the introduction of a complex genetic test to the general public.

Dr. Myers also served in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) in the National Center of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the CDC. As an EIS officer, she participated on several outbreak response teams, including STOP (Stop Transmission of Polio) Team 9 in Bangladesh, the New York City Anthrax Team, the World Trade Center Terrorist Attack Response Team, the Dengue Fever Outbreak Response team in Maui and Kawaii, Hawaii, and the West Nile Virus Response Team in Long Island, NY.

MS: Genetic Counseling, The University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 1990-1992.

PhD: The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD, 1995-2000.

Fellowship: Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2002.

Certification: Genetic Counseling, 1993.

View PubMed Publications

Rutherford S, Zhang X, Atzinger C, Ruschman J, Myers MF. Medical management adherence as an outcome of genetic counseling in a pediatric setting. Genetics in Medicine. 2014 Feb;16(2):157-163.

Grote L, Myers MF, Lovell A, Saal H, Sund K. Variable Approaches to Genetic Counseling for Microarray Regions of Homozygosity Associated with Parental Relatedness. Am J Med Genet. 2014 Jan;164A(1):87-98.

Berger K, Lynch J, Prows C, Siegel R, Myers MF. Mothers’ perceptions of family health history and on online parent-generated family health history tool. Clinical Pediatrics. 2013 Jan;52(1):74-81.

Myers MF, B Bernhardt. Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Introduction to the Special Issue. J Genet Couns. 2012;21(3):357-360. 

Myers MF. Health care providers and direct-to-consumer access and advertising of genetic testing in the United States. Genome Medicine. 2011;3:81.

Kanetzke EE, Lynch J, Prows CA, Siegel RM, Myers MF. Perceived Utility of Parent-Generated Family Health History as a Health Promotion Tool in Pediatric Practice. Clin Pediatr. 2011 Aug;50(8):720-8.

Lynch J, Parrott A, Hopkin R, Myers MF. Media Coverage of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing. J Genet Couns. 2011;20(5):486-494. 

Au MG, Cornett SJ, Nick TG, Wallace J, Wang Y, Warren NS, Myers MF. Familial risk for chronic disease and intent to share family history with a health care provider among urban Appalachian women, southwestern Ohio, 2007. Prev Chronic Dis. 2010;7(1).

Myers MF, Chang MH, Jorgensen C, Whitworth W, Kassim S, Litch JA, Armstrong L, Bernhardt B, Faucett WA, Irwin D, Mouchawar J, Bradley LA. Genetic testing for susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer: Evaluating the impact of a direct-to-consumer marketing campaign on physicians’ knowledge and practices. Genet Med. 2006;8(6):361–370.

J Jacobellis, PhD, Colorado Dept of Public Health and Environment. L Martin, MS, Georgia Dept of Human Resources. J Engel, MD, North Carolina Div of Public Health. J VanEenwyk, PhD, Washington State Dept of Health. LA Bradley, PhD, Office of Genomics and Disease Prevention, Office of the Director; S Kassim, MD, C Jorgensen, DrPH, Div of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; JA Litch, MD, MF Myers, PhD, EIS officers, CDC.  Genetic Testing for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility: Evaluating Direct-to-Consumer Marketing - Atlanta, Denver, Raleigh-Durham, and Seattle, 2003. MMWR. 2004;53:603-606.