Honors Projects


Rachel Bertsch


Genetics is a rapidly expanding field that encompasses a variety of disciplines, especially within the health care field. Since the advent of the Human Genome Project, the abilities of genetic research has greatly increased, allowing us to create genetic tests that can search many genes and find mutations indicating disease or risk for future diseases or disorders. The widespread use of genetic testing has necessitated more genetic counseling to assist in explaining and returning test results to patients and their families. Additionally, genetic testing brings up outside considerations that are important to think about. Direct to consumer genetic testing, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), and the obstacles and ethics surrounding genetic testing are all important points to consider. The role of genetic counselors and how they work with genetic testing is also important to understand. Finally, as genetic testing continues to grow and interest more patients and families it is important that all health care providers have at least a basic knowledge of genetics. Standards of competency for genetics, genetic testing, and genetic counseling for all health care professionals should be implemented to ensure that all patients and families receive accurate and unbiased information. In order to contribute to this cause, a talk was also given to attendees about genetic testing and genetic counseling.



First Advisor

Dr. Craig Vickio

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Dr. Sheryl Coombs

Second Advisor Department

Biological Sciences

Publication Date

Fall 2013