The Evolving Role of Genetic Counselors in Precision Medicine

In the second installment of PhenoTips Speaker Series, thought leader and decorated patient advocate Ellen Matloff discusses the evolving role genetic counselors play in precision medicine as genetic testing increases in frequency and accessibility.


Genetic testing, the pillar of precision medicine, is a rapidly growing market expected to exceed $2 Billion by 2024. Genetic information benefits all areas of medicine, but only if both patients and clinicians can interpret genetic test results. Uniquely equipped to interpret test results, genetic counselors have a significant role to play in precision medicine. To prepare for the increased demand on genetic counselors, PhenoTips invited precision medicine thought leader and patient advocate Ellen Matloff to discuss the evolving role of genetic counselors in precision medicine.

Ellen Matloff, MS, CGC is a genetic counselor and the President and CEO of My Gene Counsel. Ellen is also the founder and former director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at Yale School of Medicine. She is an established educator, lecturer, and media spokesperson with over 50 scientific publications in the field, including senior authorship in several publications documenting national errors in misinterpretation of genetic testing results. As a patient advocate, she is decorated with national awards, and most notably acted as the plaintiff in a 2013 BRCA gene patent case that went before the supreme court, resulting in lowered prices of genetic testing.

In this conversation hosted by founder, producer, and host of DNA Today Kira Dineen, GC, Ellen Matloff draws on personal experience to provide insights on:

  • The implications of the increasing popularity of whole genome/exome sequencing on precision medicine
  • The role of genetic counselors in precision medicine, including:
    • Contribution of skill sets to the precision medicine movement
    • Advocating for the sharing of genetic test results
    • Protection of patient privacy
    • Shaping monetization and scaling of the genetic testing market
    • The projected evolution of this role over time
  • The role of genetic counseling programs in shaping the future of precision medicine
  • Roadblocks to widespread genetic testing and precision medicine
  • The value of harnessing genetic databases

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