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Faculty Leadership

Anne L. Matthews, RN, PhD, FACMG
Genetic Counseling Training Program Director

Anne L. Matthews, R.N., Ph.D., LGC, FACMG is Professor of Genetics & Genome Sciences, Director of Genetic Counseling Training Program and Co-Director of the MS in Genetic Counseling and MA in Bioethics & Medical Humanities dual degree program. Dr. Matthews, who was director of the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado for 8 years, was specifically recruited to develop, direct and teach in the Program.

Dr. Matthews received her diploma in nursing from the Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing in 1968 and her baccalaureate degree in 1971 from McGill University. In 1973, she received a master's degree and completed her doctorate in genetics and nursing in 1984 from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC).

Dr. Matthews has had extensive experience in genetic counseling, first as Coordinator of the Regional Genetic Counseling Clinic for Colorado and Wyoming and later as a nurse geneticist with Genetic Services and the Maternal-Fetal Surgery and Medicine Program at UCHSC. She was an Assistant Professor on the faculties of the Schools of Medicine and Nursing at UCHSC. In 1996, she joined the Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Matthews is board certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and a charter member of the American Board of Genetic Counseling. She is a past President of the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors. She is also an advisory board member for the Genetic Counseling Program at Stanford University. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, American Society of Human Genetics and a founding fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics. She is a past editor of the Journal of Genetic Counseling and past president of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics. Her areas of clinical interest and research include curriculum development and graduate education in genetic counseling as well as issues arising from the numerous and complex ethical, social legal and educational issues faced by genetic counselors.

Rebecca Darrah, PhD
Associate Director of the Genetic Counseling Training Program
Research Interests
  • Studying the genetics of airway diseases
  • Determining how genes associating with disease severity are exerting their effects on phenotype
  • Studies on TGFb1, EDNRA and most recently AGTR2
  • The use of mouse models to understand the effects of disease modifying genes
  • I am working closely with several investigators to characterize the pulmonary attributes of CF mice, from breathing mechanics to MRI imaging techniques and response to infection. We have recently discovered the first CF animal model of spontaneous lung infection, and our preliminary data suggest new therapeutic strategies for CF patient care
  • Studying the genetics of asthma susceptibility and the relationship between asthma and obesity using asthmatic and obese mouse models.
Education Interests
  • Associate Director of the Genetic Counseling Training Program at Case Western Reserve University. My responsibilities include teaching, serving on thesis committees, mentoring students in laboratory, interviewing prospective students, supervising the students' clinical rotations, and providing one-on-one guidance.
  • At the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing I lecture on clinical genetics, and molecular genetics to the graduate students. I look forward to mentoring graduate students in the genetics lab.
Educational Background
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology: College of Wooster 1993
  • Master of Arts in Bioethics: Case Western Reserve University 1998
  • Master of Science in Genetic Counseling: Case Western Reserve University 2000
  • Doctorate of Philosophy: Genetics: Case Western Reserve University 2010
Michelle Merrill, MS
Director of Clinical Training

Michelle Merrill, MS, who is a board certified and licensed genetic counselor, is the Director of Clinical Training for the Genetic Counseling Training Program and a clinical instructor in the Department of Genetic & Genome Sciences. Michelle is also a senior genetic counseling supervisor in the Center for Human Genetics at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. She joined UH in January 2012 and brings with her over 15 years of clinical experience counseling patients and their families at risk for hereditary cancer. Michelle earned her master's degree in genetic counseling in 2002 from Case Western Reserve University. She worked at MetroHealth Medical Center until 2012 and founded their Hereditary Cancer Clinic. At MetroHealth, Michelle also directed the clinical rotation experience for genetic counseling students, residents, and fellows during their time seeing patients in Clinical Genetics. She was a member of the Breast Cancer Leadership Committee and the Palliative Care team. In addition, she participated in clinical research involving the utilization of cancer genetic testing services among patients diagnosed with breast cancer. She has given numerous professional and community educational presentations involving hereditary cancer syndromes, ethics and genetics, and careers in genetic counseling.

In 2012, Michelle came to University Hospitals where she has continued counseling patients and families at risk for hereditary cancer, and supervising clinical rotation experiences in the Cancer Genetics Clinic for genetic counseling students, residents and fellows. She also continues to give numerous educational presentations about cancer genetic testing and the impact of testing on family members. Michelle has participated in the initiative to bring Telemedicine genetic counseling services for inherited cancer risk assessment at University Hospitals, and has piloted genetic counselor billing.

Michelle became Director of Clinical Training in the Genetic counseling Training Program in 2018. In addition to her activities as Clinical Training Director, she helped develop and has been the course director for the Clinical Cancer Genetics course; is a member of the Admissions Committee and sits on a number of student research committees and oral examination committees.

Aaron Goldenberg, PhD, MA, MPH
Co-Director of the MS in Genetic Counseling and MA in Bioethics & Medical Humanities Dual Degree Program

Aaron Goldenberg, PhD, MA, MPH is an Associate Professor and Research Director in the Department of Bioethics & Medical Humanities at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Goldenberg is also the Co-Director of the Center for Genetic Research Ethics and Law, a NIH Center of Excellence in ELSI Research and Co-Director of the Genetic Counseling & Bioethics dual degree program.

Dr. Goldenberg received his bachelor's degree from Michigan State University; his MPH from University of Michigan and earned his PhD in Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University. Since joining the faculty at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Goldenberg's work focuses on the ethical, legal, and social implications of advances in genomics within clinical and public health settings. His research program has been grounded by a number of major project areas, including: 1) ethical implications of expanding newborn screening programs; 2) storage and use of perinatal and pediatric biological specimens for future research; and 3) the implications of genomics for communities experiencing health disparities. He is currently the Co-PI of a new project assessing the ELSI challenges of networked biorepositories aimed at promoting precision medicine.

In addition to these scholarly initiatives, Dr. Goldenberg is Director for Ethics, Policy and Practice for the National Newborn Screening Clearinghouse, also known as Baby's First Test. He is a member of the Ethics and Legal Workgroup for the Newborn Screening Translational Research Network and the Legal and Legislative Workgroup for the American Public Health Laboratory Association. And, is a member of NIH's IRB for the All of Us Research Program.

Dr. Goldenberg has been an active member of the genetic counseling program - lecturing on research ethics, public health genetics and co-teaches BETH 412 Ethical Issues in Genetics & Genomics. Dr. Goldenberg also sits on a number of the GC student research committees and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Genetic Counseling Program.

Last update on: 28th November 2018