I am pleased to introduce you to the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine. Our mission is to transform medicine with the science and practice of genetics and genomics. The integrated research, clinical and diagnostic activities housed within our department have made great strides in the evolution of genetic medicine.
The Department remains a top-ranked genetics program, ranking first among other U.S. genetic departments in total awarded NIH funding and number of grants for over a decade.
We continue to lead in the diagnostic testing arena with Baylor Genetics, our joint venture with H.U. Group Holdings, Inc. This jointly governed laboratory continues to support the academic mission and innovation of the department while promising to extend the impact of genetic diagnostic testing worldwide including, most recently, for infectious diseases.
Our faculty continue to deliver our clinical, training and research missions at home and abroad through our ongoing partnership with the Chinese University of Hong Kong Center for Medical Genetics.
During this past year, Baylor was recognized on Gizmodo’s Degrees of the Future 2022 list as one of the top genetics and genomics programs and as a Center of Excellence by the National Organization of Rare Disorders.
In addition, new and continuing consortia with the National Institutes of Health and industry are leading to new gene discoveries and advancements in the implementation of genetics and genomics. These consortia include the All of Us program, GREGoR: Genomic Research to Elucidate the Genetics of Rare disease, the Knockout Mouse Phenotyping Program, the Center for Precision Medicine Models, Clinical Genome Resource, Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research, and the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Networks.
We recently formed a new center to continue the work of Baylor’s Undiagnosed Disease Network (UDN) clinical site, DNA sequencing core and model organisms screening center by providing clinical services and genetic testing and analysis to assess patients who have not received a diagnosis for their condition. This new Undiagnosed Diseases Center (UDC) will utilize the new self-service capabilities of the Consultagene platform.
Another exciting development has been the beginning of Baylor’s All of Us Evenings with Genetics Research Program, a program that aims to engage researchers from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, in utilizing the NIH’s All of Us Research Program data resources to advance precision medicine.
The future holds much promise due to the talent and dedication of our renowned faculty, trainees and staff. I consider myself privileged to be a part of this exciting and vital effort.
Brendan Lee, M.D., Ph.D.
Robert and Janice McNair Endowed Chair in Molecular and Human Genetics