Ask The Expert: An Interview with a Pathway Genomics Counselor

Leslie

SAN DIEGO, Apr 17, 2015  — Leslie Ordal, M.Sc., a field genetic counselor at Pathway Genomics, answers some frequently asked questions:

Are all genetic changes harmful?

No. In fact, everyone has genetic changes – it’s why we’re all different. Some genetic changes, called pathogenic variants, can be harmful to an individual, and in some cases, to their children if passed down.

Many other genetic changes; however, are quite common and have no known effect on health – we call these benign variants, and they’re just part of natural human variation. Some genetic changes can even be beneficial, such as those associated with reduced risk for certain diseases like Alzheimer disease.

Obesity, Genes and Aging….Overlapping Magisterium?

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By Michael Nova, M.D.
Chief Innovation Officer
Pathway Genomics

There has recently (2013-15) been a flurry of human clinical trial publications regarding gene-diet interactions, primarily concerning obesity and related phenotypes.

A new finding by the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits, or GIANT, consortium has identified 97 gene regions associated with obesity, tripling the number of such genes previously known.

The Power of Genetic Counseling at Pathway Genomics

SAN DIEGO, CA – OCTOBER 13, 2014 – What is a genetic counselor and what does a genetic counselor do at Pathway Genomics? From the outside you would think that answering this question would be a simple task for someone who has spent more than 20 years providing clinical genetic counseling in a wide variety of circumstances such as prenatal, neurogenetics, hematology, and cancer genetics. Genetic counselors are a fiercely protective and private lot when it comes to our clients and our profession. Who we are and what we do are intimately intertwined.

Using Genetic Information for Healthy Lifestyle Management

Doctor

SAN DIEGO, CAOctober 2. 2014 – Genetic testing provides the opportunity to gain all sorts of insight–from the potential to diagnose rare diseases, to providing targeted therapies, to prevention. Although we have historically focused on the use of genetic testing for diagnosis, less attention has been given to genetic testing’s clinical use in preventing disease and managing health.

In the US, only 2% of the population has ever undergone genetic testing. However many studies show that the majority of patients and physicians believe that genetic testing is on the rise and that a significantly higher portion of the population could benefit from genetic testing to help identify risk for and even diagnose preventable conditions.