Cytogenetics at Kennesaw State

Mission

The Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) and the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology (EEOB) offer the B.S. in Biology degree program. Within the B.S. in Biology degree program, we offer cytogenetic technology training. The Cytogenetics Training Program is nationally accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) and is the only undergraduate training in clinical cytogenetics in the US Southeast. Our mission is to recruit and train undergraduate students who are strong candidates for technologist positions in clinical and research cytogenetics laboratories in the Southeast, especially in North Georgia; and to graduate highly motivated, independent, and skilled individuals who will provide service to the community.

Goals

  1. Offer excellent career preparation for a wide variety of cytogenetic laboratory positions ranging from diagnostics to basic research. This preparation includes vigorous training in theoretical knowledge in genetics and molecular biology. The training also focuses on integration of theoretical knowledge and laboratory practice, and development of a high standard of professionalism and ethics.
  2. Build a close and mutually beneficial relationship with the cytogenetic laboratories in the Southeast through scholarly collaboration in student training and molecular cytogenetic research.

Curriculum

Students who follow the Cytogenetics Track fulfill the core curriculum requirements of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. These include courses in humanities, social sciences, arts, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology. Junior- and senior-level courses include biology, chemistry, and physics. Required upper-level courses specific to the Cytogenetics Track are Medical Genetics, Chromosome Preparation and Analysis, and Cytogenetics Practicum (clinical internship). Molecular Genetics and Microbiology are highly recommended.

Clinical Experience

A 23-weeks internship at an affiliated clinical laboratory provides the essential clinical experience.  In addition to extensive training in routine cytogenetic diagnostic methods, students will have hands-on training in the newest diagnostic technologies in molecular cytogenetics, including array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and next generation sequencing (NGS).

ASCP Certification

A graduate from the program will be eligible to sit for the ASCP certification exam in cytogenetics specialty.

Admission Criteria for Progression into the Cytogenetics Training Program

  • Must be currently enrolled in the Biology degree program;
  • Or an individual may have a B.S. degree in Biology or related fields and have prerequisite course work;
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5;
  • A minimum math and science GPA of 2.5;
  • Meet with the academic program director in person;
  • Arrange one or more recommendation letters from student’s instructors or supervisors;
  • A recommendation from the academic program director

Specific Requirements for Progression into Cytogenetics Practicum (Internship)

  • Senior status;
  • A grade “B” or better from Chromosome Preparation and Analysis;
  • A grade “C” or better from Medical Genetics;
  • Arrange the internship schedule with the director in person;
  • Approval from the academic program director

Internship is dependent upon availability of a position at one of the clinical laboratories. The assignment is on a first come first serve basis.

Affiliated Clinical Laboratories

  • EGL Genetic Diagnostics, LLC
  • Emory Oncology Cytogenetics Laboratory
  • CSI, LLC

Competencies

  • Correctly describe the major events and developments in human cytogenetics;
  • Correctly state the principles of commonly used cytogenetics techniques in a diagnostic laboratory, including harvesting, Q- and G-banding, and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH);
  • Correctly state the principles of newer molecular genetics and molecular cytogenetics techniques, including, array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), single nucleotide polymorphism array (SNP array), polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA sequencing, and next generation sequencing;
  • Correctly establish correlation between chromosome abnormality and a particular syndrome/disease for some of the most common abnormalities in human;
  • Successfully perform cell and tissue culture, chromosome harvesting and banding procedures;
  • Utilize the correct method of collection, transport and handling of specimens for various specimen types for cytogenetic analysis;
  • Demonstrate correct techniques in using light and fluorescence microscope;
  • Demonstrate the correct technique in arranging karyotype using software such as CytoVision;
  • Correctly analyze G-banded human chromosomes and interphase nuclei in FISH;
  • Establish a good standard in operation and maintenance of a cytogenetics laboratory, including data entry, record keeping, and safety;
  • Exhibit appropriate ethical and professional health care standards;
  • Establish a good standard in personal professional development by keeping a good record of continuing education.
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