The medical genetics program of the University of Nevada school of Medicine is
active in the areas of clinical genetics, research, teaching, and public health.
Genetics consulation clinics are held in both Las Vegas and
Reno. The clinic coordinator, Marisol Gregorio,(702)671-2200, schedules appointments.
Prenatal genetic counseling is available in Las Vegas.
What is genetic counseling?
Genetic counseling is a health service provided by specialists with advanced training
in the causes of birth defects and inherited diseases.
The goal of genetic counseling is to provide accurate information to families regarding
genetic disorders or potential birth defects. Genetic counseling helps individuals
understand the causes of various abnormalities, the medical tests available
to detect their presence, and the chance of having a child affected with a disorder.
The geneticist provides information regarding treatment and research for rare
Who can benefit from genetic counseling?
Individuals who are considering a pregnancy or are currently pregnant and who:
Any adult or child who:
- will be 35 or older at the time of delivery.
- have a family history of birth defects, mental retardation, chromosome abnormality
or inherited disorder.
- are known carriers for an inherited disorder
- have taken medications, drugs, or have been exposed to chemicals during pregnancy.
- have had two or more miscarriges.
- are couples who are blood relatives
- have health problems such as diabetes.
- want information about prenatal testing.
- are members of an ethnic group in which a particular inherited disorder is more likely to
occur such as:
African American-sickle cell anemia
Ashkenazi Jews- Tay-Sachs
Italians, Greeks, or Asians-thalassemia
- was born with a birth defect.
- has a chromosome abnormality.
- is not developing normally and has unusual phsical features.
- has failure to thrive or short stature and learning disabilities.
- has a genetic disorder or suspected genetic disorder.
- desires additional information about birth defects or genetic disorders.
What may occur in a genetic counseling session or genetic diagnostic clinic?
- An extensive family and medical history is taken.
- Family photographs may be reviewed.
- A detailed physical exam is done in genetic diagnostic clinic.
- Laboratory tests (such as chomosome studies,DNA tests, biochemical studies, prenatal diagnostic tests,
etc.) may be recommended.
- Discussion of the results of the physical examination or testing occurs. Questions are answered.
- Referrals may be made to appropriate community, medical, or education services as needed.
Genetics Program Staff
Colleen A. Morris, M.D.
(Board Certified in Pediatrics and Medical Genetics)
Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
Founding Fellow, American College of Medical Genetics
Director of Clinical Services
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and
Pathology and Laboratory
University of Nevada School of Medicine.
Katrina M. Farwig, M.S.
(Board Certified in Genetic Counseling)
Faculty Member, Department of Pediatrics
University of Nevada School of Medicine