The Division of Human Genetics was founded by Josef Warkany, MD, who arrived from Vienna in 1932 for a one-year research fellowship. He ended up spending his entire and highly productive career at Cincinnati Children’s. Warkany is well known for proving that mercury in teething powders and ointments caused acrodynia, a painful childhood disease. His work led to mercury being removed from these products.

He went on to do pioneering research on nutritional and environmental factors that cause birth defects and is known as the founder of teratology. Since then, the division has cultivated an accomplished history in clinical care, diagnostic laboratory services, genetic education and research.


Clinical genetics focuses on providing comprehensive diagnostic, management and treatment services with emphasis on tailoring care to specific patient and family needs, through interdisciplinary clinics and programs

Clinical laboratory services develop and implement state-of-the-art technologies for biochemical, cytogenetic, and molecular diagnostic testing for a multitude of pediatric and adult disorders.

Research and Education

Our research focuses on basic disease mechanisms with translational import and improved outcomes for gene influenced diseases.

The Division of Human Genetics is a leader in genetics education. The Genetic Counseling Graduate Program is one of the oldest and largest such programs in the United States. We have American Board of Medical Genetics certified training programs in medical genetics, medical and clinical biochemical genetics, clinical cytogenetics, and clinical molecular genetics for training leaders in human genetics.

Our Vision

Division director Louis J. Muglia, MD, PhD, explains the vision for Human Genetics at Cincinnati Children’s.