Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics chair transition
June 19, 2014
Kenneth G. Cornetta, Ph.D., will step down as chair of the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at the IU School of Medicine, effective June 30.
Dr. Cornetta will spend the next year as a fellow in the IU Palliative Care Fellowship Program. Tatiana M. Foroud, Ph.D., and Gail H. Vance, M.D., will serve as interim chairs of the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics.
Dr. Cornetta was named chair and Joe C. Christian Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics in 2002 and 2003, respectively. He joined IU in 1991 and has been instrumental in promoting the school's bone marrow transplant program to national prominence as well as developing the viral vector facility, which has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health as a national resource for human gene therapy clinical trials since 1995.
Previously, he served an instructor and hematology fellow at the University of Wisconsin, a National Research Service Award Fellow in the Molecular Hematology Branch at the NIH and as chief resident in the IUSM Department of Medicine.
Dr. Cornetta is also a professor of medicine and professor of microbiology and immunology at the IU School of Medicine. He will serve as an adjunct professor in these departments, as well as the department of medical and molecular genetics, during his fellowship year.
Founded in 1966, the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics is one of the oldest medical genetics departments in the country. It is a combined basic science and clinical service department with four complementary divisions: Clinical and Biochemical Genetics, Diagnostic Genomics, Hereditary Genomics, and Molecular Genetics and Gene Therapy. These research divisions have an active graduate program conferring M.S., Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. degrees.
Dr. Foroud, who will serve as interim co-director of the department, is the director of the Hereditary Genomics Division in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics. Her research focuses on the identification of genes contributing to disease, including neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, intracranial aneurysms, alcohol dependence and cancer. Dr. Foroud is an IUPUI Chancellor’s Professor and P. Michael Conneally Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics and adjunct professor of psychiatry at the IU School of Medicine.
She also serves as scientific director of the Indiana Biobank and a member of the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute. Dr. Foroud holds a doctorate in population genetics from the Indiana University School of Medicine, a master's in biomathematics from the University of California-Los Angeles and a bachelor's in biology and mathematics from Fairfield University in Connecticut.
Dr. Vance, also interim co-chair, previously served in this role from 1999 to 2002. She is the director of the Division of Diagnostic Genomics in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics. She also directs the Cytogenetics laboratory and is the founding director of the Indiana Familial Cancer Program, which includes both a clinic and an Internal Review Board-approved familial cancer registry. The Indiana Familial Cancer clinic services provide genetic counseling, risk assessment and genetic testing to patients with an elevated risk for cancer including breast and ovarian cancer, hereditary colon cancer, Li Fraumeni syndrome and other familial cancer syndromes.
She also directs the state's only Familial Pancreatic Cancer Registry, which collects information on patients with family histories of pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Vance is the Sutphin Professor of Cancer Genetics and a professor of medical and molecular genetics and a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the IU School of Medicine. She holds a medical degree from Michigan State University and completed residency training in pediatrics and clinical pathology.
She completed fellowship training in clinical genetics and clinical cytogenetics and is board certified in clinical genetics and clinical cytogenetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics, clinical pathology by the American Board of Pathology and pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics. She also directs the Clinical Genetics Residency Program at the IU School of Medicine.
A search committee co-chaired by Julie Welsh, M.D., assistant dean for faculty affairs and professional development, and Mervin Yoder, M.D., assistant dean for entrepreneurial research, has been formed to select a successor to Dr. Cornetta.
Application instructions are online. The priority review deadline is Monday, June 30.