Faculty

Liane Abrams, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor, Cancer Risk Program, UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center
Instructor for the course: Principles and Practices of Genetic Counseling IV

Ms. Abrams received her MS in Genetic Counseling from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the founder of East Bay Genetic Counseling and Consultation, a private practice agency that provides consultation and genetic services as needed for physicians, medical groups, genetics organizations, and non‐profit genetic foundations. Clients include Stanford University Medical Center, March of Dimes, Children’s Hospital Oakland, and private prenatal diagnostic centers. The agency provides clinical and professional supervision to local genetic counselors. For many years, Ms. Abrams taught courses for the UC Berkeley Genetic Counseling Program and has recently taught genetics courses for Stanford University. She has a number of research publications and has provided a range of presentations on genetic disorders for a variety of professional and community organizations. Her particular area of expertise deals with Fragile X syndrome. Ms. Abrams was the founder, co‐director, and genetic counselor for the multidisciplinary Northern California Fragile X clinic from 1995 to 2002. She worked for many years as the genetic specialist for the National Fragile X Foundation, but is now working as a clinical genetic counselor for the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Ron Bachman, MD

Former Director of the Genetics Department, Oakland Kaiser Permanente, now retired and Emeritus
Position in the Program: Co-Medical Director
Instructor for the course: Clinical Embryology

Dr. Bachman received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and conducted a pediatric internship and residency at UCSF. He received his genetics training at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Bachman is one of the two founding members of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Genetics Program that began in 1968. There are now 250 employees in this regional program that consists of five genetic centers. Many of these employees are medical geneticists, genetic counselors, PhD genetic laboratory directors for cytogenetics and molecular genetics, genetics nurses, metabolic nutritionists, and computer specialists. The regional program is considered to be the largest clinical program in the world. Dr. Bachman was an active clinical training faculty member for the former University of California, Berkeley, Genetic Counseling Program, providing instruction for the embryology and medical genetics courses. He continues to teach his embryology course for the genetic counseling programs at University of California at Irvine and Wayne State University.  Dr. Bachman’s many years of experience teaching both medical genetics and embryology for genetic counseling students, medical students, and postdoctoral fellows serve the Genetic Counseling Program at CSU Stanislaus well.


Jeffrey H. Burack, MD, MPP, BPhil

Instructor for the course: Bioethics and Professional Issues

After graduating from Harvard University in 1981 summa cum laude in biology, Dr. Burack studied moral philosophy as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford from which he received the graduate BPhil degree. He returned to Harvard where, concurrently with his

Medical studies, he received a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of

Government as the Knowles Scholar in Health Policy. After completing his residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, in 1991, Dr. Burack worked as clinical and research faculty in UCSF’s AIDS Program at San Francisco General Hospital. He pursued additional training in biomedical ethics, medical education, and general internal medicine as a National Research Service Award Fellow at the University of Washington. Dr. Burack is Medical Director of the East Bay AIDS Center in Oakland, California, which provides comprehensive medical care to a diverse population of 1,500 patients with HIV/AIDS. He also serves as principal investigator of the East Bay AIDS Research Institute. He is an associate clinical professor of bioethics and medical humanities at the University of California, Berkeley, and School of Public Health, where he teaches in the UC Berkeley – UCSF Joint Medical Program, and is an associate clinical professor of medicine at UCSF. His publications in biomedical ethics include work on truth telling and deception, the teaching of attitudes, and problems in quantitative ethics research. He co-taught the Bioethical Issues in Genetic Counseling course at the UC Berkeley Genetic Counseling Program from 1997-2001. Dr. Burack has been a faculty scholar of the Open Society Institute’s Project on Death in America since 1998. He chairs the Ethics Committee at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley. For the past two years, Dr. Burack has co-taught the Bioethics and Professional Issues course with Margie Goldstein. His contribution to the course has been focused on the ethical issues related to the genetic counseling profession and the biomedical field at large.


Joanna Fanos, Ph.D.

Clinical Scientist, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute/University of California San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospitals
Faculty Affiliate, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, Stanford University
Lecturer, Department of Psychology, San Jose State University
Instructor for the course: Introduction to Qualtitative Research Methods (BIOL 5968)

Dr. Fanos is a research psychologist whose work for the past 30 years has focused on the impact of serious pediatric genetic illness on the family, especially the well sibling.  She received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College, Columbia University and her Ph.D. in Human Development from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Her career has included affiliations with many research institutions, including the NIH, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Dartmouth Medical School, Stanford University and California Pacific Medical Center, SF.  There she began the Sibling Center, a preventative intervention program to help siblings of children and adolescents with serious medical conditions.  Dr. Fanos has held many academic appointments, both in California and in New Hampshire.  Her work as a research psychologist has focused on the impact on parents and siblings of serious, often fatal, pediatric genetic illness, ethical concerns related to genetic testing of children, pre-symptomatic testing of individuals with a strong history of Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (FALS), psychological concerns related to newborn screening programs, and the impact of new genetic technologies, in particular related to cystic fibrosis.  She has served on several national and international genetics related committees.  Dr. Fanos is the author of a book called Sibling Loss and has published widely in peer-reviewed medical journals.  She has taught psychology and qualitative research methods in a variety of settings and currently is a member of the faculty in the Psychology Department at San Jose State University.  She has mentored many students with their research projects, including some through the genetic counseling program at Stanford.  Dr. Fanos will be teaching the qualitative section of our Research Methodology class.


Margie Goldstein, MS, LCGC

Position in the Program: Field Work Coordinator and Supervisor
Instructor for the course: Principles and Practices of Genetic Counseling II and III

Ms. Goldstein received her MS in Genetic Counseling from the University of California,

Berkeley. She served for many years as co‐director, and later as director, of the Genetic Counseling Program at University of California, Berkeley until its closure in 2003. During her many years of involvement in that program, she also taught several courses for the program, including the Principles and Practices of Genetic Counseling course. She also served as academic advisor, clinical supervisor, and field work supervisor and coordinator. She currently serves a similar role in the CSU program, teaching, supervising students, and coordinating clinical rotations.  Prior to her work at Berkeley, Ms. Goldstein was a genetic counselor at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Oakland, California, as the coordinator of the Prenatal Diagnosis Clinic, coordinator of the Chorionic Villus Sampling Pilot Project, coordinator of the Tay Sachs Screening Program, clinical supervisor to genetic counseling interns, and coordinator for outreach and community education.


Ryan T. Howell, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychology at San Francisco State University and a co-founder of BeyondThePurchase.Org.
Instructor for the course: Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods (BIOL 5968)

Dr. Howell received his Ph.D. in Personality Psychology from the University of California, Riverside (2005). He is the director of The Personality and Well-Being Lab at SFSU where their primary aim is to communicate to scientists and society about how development, personality, motivation, values, beliefs, forecasts, and community interact with a person's economic conditions and financial decision-making to influence experienced quality of life--from suffering to flourishing. He has authored more than 30 scholarly publications in a number of leading academic journals, including Psychological Bulletin.  His

research has been covered in media outlets such as the Time magazine, the New York Times, PBS (this emotional life), Forbes, The Economist, Fast Company, Salon.com, AARP.com, CNN.com, FoxNews.com, and he has appeared on National Public Radio, Radio New Zealand, and ABC 7 News. He has written extensively on happiness, psychological needs satisfaction, experiential consumption, time perspectives, and money management.


Kate Lamvik Loranger, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor, Cancer Program, John Muir Health
Co-instructor for the course: Cancer Genetics

Ms. Loranger is a genetic counselor at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center. She received her MS in Genetic Counseling from the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2007. She currently provides familial cancer risk genetic counseling in the UCSF Breast Care Center, UCSF Gastrointestinal Cancer Prevention Program, and in the public health setting at the Avon Foundation sponsored Cancer Risk Program at San Francisco General Hospital. Ms. Loranger has several years of teaching experience in providing patient education on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, presentations to nursing students and nursing organizations, and as a small group discussion leader for the Mechanisms, Methods, and Malignancies course for second-year medical students at UCSF. She also has several research publications related to her involvement in developing an educational tool, called CREDIT, for low literacy individuals at risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Ms. Loranger is one of the instructors in the Cancer Genetics course.


Niki Lovick, MS, LCGC

UCSF Hereditary Cancer Center
Co-instructor for the course: Cancer Genetics

Niki Lovick co-teaches the Cancer Genetics course for the first-year students. She received her MS in genetic counseling from the California State University, Stanislaus. Ms. Lovick started her career at the Yale Cancer Center providing familial cancer risk genetic counseling. Her experience in teaching includes community education, presentations to nursing and medical school students, leading small group discussions for second-year medical students at Yale, and supervising genetic counseling interns. She also co-founded and led a support group for unaffected women in their 20s who are BRCA positive.  She currently works at the UCSF Hereditary Cancer Clinic, which provides comprehensive and coordinated care for patients with a known hereditary cancer syndrome.


Laurie Nemzer, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor, Genetics Department, Oakland Kaiser Permanente
Position in the Program: Director
Instructor for the courses: Principles and Practices of Genetic Counseling I and Special Topics in Genetics- Clinical Skills and Community Experiences                      

Ms. Nemzer has been a Genetic Counselor in the Department of Genetics at Kaiser Permanente Oakland since 1984. She received her MS in Genetic Counseling from the University of California, Berkeley. She provides genetic counseling services for prenatal, pediatric, and adult genetics clinics. She has coordinated several large prenatal screening programs. She serves as a consulting genetic counselor to several satellite and specialty clinics, including cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, craniofacial, and spina bifida. Ms. Nemzer also supervises genetic counseling student interns, teaches prenatal diagnosis classes, and provides in‐services and lectures to residents, nurses, and physicians. She currently is on the UCSF/Kaiser Permanente Executive Committee for the Center of Excellence for ELSI research in Translational Genomics.  For many years, she was a lecturer for the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program at the University of California, Berkeley. She taught courses for the program, served as academic advisor for the students, participated as a member of the Oral Defense Committee for student research projects, and participated in the program admissions committee, all of which she now does for the CSU program. Prior to joining Kaiser, she worked as a genetic counselor in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University and also as a genetic counselor in the Medical Genetics Department at Children’s Hospital in Oakland. Ms. Nemzer’s experience in a broad range of activities in the genetic counseling profession, including extensive involvement in a previously existing genetic counseling program and her continued practice in the field of clinical genetic counseling, makes her ideally suited and qualified to teach the specified courses in the Genetic Counseling Program at CSU Stanislaus and serve as its program director.


Seymour Packman, MD

Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco
Position in the Program: Co-medical Director
Dr. Packman has been a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, since 1977. He received his medical degree from Washington

University in St. Louis, Missouri, and completed his residency in pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He was a research associate in the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and a fellow in medical genetics in the Department of Human Genetics at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He is currently director of the Biochemical Genetics Service at UCSF, director of the UCSF‐Stanford Lysosomal Disease Center, faculty member of the Graduate Group in Genetics at UCSF, faculty member in the Program in Human Genetics at UCSF, co‐director of the UCSF‐Stanford Joint Residency Program in Medical Genetics, director of the Pediatric Neurometabolic Program and Clinic at UCSF, and director of the Medical Genetics Training Program at UCSF. He has published over 130 peer‐reviewed articles in leading scientific journals and has been the recipient of numerous honors, awards, and grants. For many years, Dr. Packman was an active faculty member involved in the teaching and training of graduate students in the former UC Berkeley Genetic Counseling Program.


Marta Sabbadini, PhD, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor – Biochemical Genetics and Personalized Genomics
University of California, San Francisco
Instructor for the course: Principles of Human Genetics

Marta Sabbadini received a PhD in Molecular Genetics in 2005 from the University of Brescia, Italy, where she studied the basic molecular changes that characterize pulmonary edema and associated lung injury. During her PhD, she moved to New York University to carry out research on the molecular signaling associated with the transcription factor STAT3 in cellular transformation and cancer pathogenesis, work for which she received a prestigious Italian fellowship to extend her stay at NYU after the completion of her PhD. In 2007, Dr. Sabbadini moved to the University of California, San Francisco, where she studied the role of the two-pore domain family of potassium channels in the pathophysiology of cancer, as well as in anesthesia and pain perception mechanisms. In 2009, Dr Sabbadini enrolled in the California State University Stanislaus Genetic Counseling Program from which she graduated. She currently works as a genetic counselor in the Department of Pediatrics at UCSF.


Nicola Stewart, MS, LCGC

UCSF Cancer Risk Program
Co-instructor for the course: Cancer Genetics

Nicola Stewart co-teaches the Cancer Genetics course for the first-year students. She received her MS in genetic counseling from the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2002, Ms. Stewart has been the Director of Consultation Service at the UCSF Cancer Risk Program. In 2007-08, Ms. Stewart spent several months improving her Spanish while working as a cancer genetic counselor in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In addition to extensive experience counseling families at risk for hereditary cancer syndromes, she supervises genetic counseling interns and teaches medical students and nursing master’s students. Her many community and professional presentations, as well as her publications in the area of hereditary cancer, all contribute to her qualifications in teaching genetic counseling students about cancer.


Kara Weisiger, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco
Instructor for the course: Advanced Medical Genetics

Kara Weisiger joined the University of California, San Francisco, Biochemical Genetics team in 1996. She received her Master of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in Human Genetics. In her current position at UCSF, she provides both inpatient and outpatient care and medical management for individuals with inborn errors of metabolism. She also serves as a coordinator in the UCSF Metabolic Center for the California Newborn Screening program. Her research interests include novel treatments of inborn errors of metabolism, as well as studies of the natural history of such disorders, and she has publications that reflect this interest. She has coordinated a number of clinical trials for PKU and lysosomal storage disorders. She taught classes for the UC Berkeley Genetic Counseling Program and currently serves as a small group discussion leader for first and second-year medical students at UCSF. Kara is coordinating and teaching Advanced Medical Genetics I and II in the Genetic Counseling Program at California State University, Stanislaus. 


Janey Youngblom, PhD, MS

Professor of Genetics, Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, Stanislaus
Position in the Program: Associate Director
Instructor for the courses: Graduate Seminar in Genetics and Research, Research Project, and Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

Dr. Youngblom has been a member of the Department of Biological Sciences at California State University, Stanislaus, since 1990. She received her MS in Genetic Counseling from Rutgers University, her PhD from the University of Minnesota, and Postdoctoral Fellowship training at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Youngblom was a regional genetic counselor for the North Carolina Health Department and later worked as an associate genetic disease specialist for the Pacific Southwest Regional Genetics Network (PSRGN) and Genetics Disease Branch of the California State Health Department. At CSU – Stanislaus, Dr. Youngblom has taught a number of courses that focus on her area of expertise in human genetics and molecular cytogenetics. These courses include Introductory Genetics, Medical Genetics, Human Genetics, Cell Culture, Advanced Biotechnology, Cytogenetics, Frontiers in Biology, and DNA Code of Life. Being a former genetic counselor, Dr. Youngblom maintains a strong interest in this field and integrates a significant amount of genetic counseling concepts and issues into most of her courses. Her many years of experience teaching courses in medical and human genetics to students, some of whom have gone on to genetic counseling programs, attests to her strong qualifications to teach the genetics courses in the program. She has successfully mentored a number of students in their research projects in her laboratory, and many of these students have gone on to graduate schools (master’s and PhD programs) and medical schools. Dr. Youngblom is the recipient of a number of research and educational grants. One example is her involvement in an NSF funded project with the American Society of Human Genetics to enhance genetics education at the high school level. Dr. Youngblom is an active member of several CSU system‐wide committees, including the CSU Stem Cell Task Force and the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology.