As a genetic counselor, I specialize in talking with patients who have vascular malformations. These include people with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation syndrome (CM-AVM) and familial cerebral cavernous malformation syndrome (FCCM).
I’ve always loved genetics. In high school, I read about the field of genetic counseling and decided to major in biology in college. While I explored many career options there, I ultimately knew that genetic counseling was the best fit for me. I enjoy using my knowledge of genetics to make it understandable for patients and their families.
Before deciding to specialize in vascular malformations, I worked in general genetics, which gave me a broad knowledge base in genetics. I was drawn to working with patients who have vascular malformations because of our expanding understanding about the genetics of this area. There is much to learn and share with families as new information is identified and applied to patients.
The guiding principle of my work is my belief that patients and families should have a voice in determining how and when to have genetic testing done. Before they pursue testing, I try to help them understand how the results could impact not only the patient but other family members.
Besides counseling patients, I also do research. I’m interested in understanding the phenotype and genetic causes of vascular malformation conditions. This information informs treatment plans and helps families understand what to expect with these conditions.
Outside the hospital, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three children. We love venturing out to the Cincinnati Zoo, the Cincinnati Nature Center, the Cincinnati Children’s Museum or Smale Riverfront Park.