The Department of Molecular and Human Genetics embodies five decades of organized genetics activity at Baylor College of Medicine. Starting in the 1970’s with the arrival of Drs. C. Thomas Caskey and Arthur Beaudet, it has become the leading genetics program in the world.
The department has continued its accelerated growth and remains the No. 1 ranked genetics department in the country based on total National Institutes of Health funding and number of awarded grants. Our research and clinical initiatives – whether taking place in medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, or one of our 14 specialty clinics – are completely integrated within one department, and the results speak for themselves. Our graduate and residency programs continue to attract the most highly qualified candidates, and our clinical genetics program (the largest in the country), offers patients unparalleled, single-source genetic testing and services.
In this past year, we continued to grow our diagnostic laboratory joint venture, now rebranded as Baylor Genetics, with our partner Miraca Holdings, Inc. In planning for the future of genetic medicine, we launched Consultagene, the department’s virtual platform for delivery of genetic services including direct-to-patient education and telegenetic counseling, peer-to-peer consultation, and genomic data interpretation services. To broaden the international reach of the department, we established a joint Baylor College of Medicine and The Chinese University of Hong Kong Center for Medical Genetics in Hong Kong. Driving these new initiatives is our continued rapid pace of genetic discovery and clinical translation in the broad areas that encompass genomic medicine.
As we take measure of the past year, let us also look forward. The future holds much promise – and the talent and dedication of our renowned faculty and trainees, who together advance this department, will carry it into the next year and beyond. I consider myself privileged to be part of this exciting and vital effort.
Brendan Lee, M.D., Ph.D.
Robert and Janice McNair Endowed Chair in Molecular and Human Genetics