Senior Staff

Dr. James Weber, Ph.D.
Founder, President, and CEO

Dr. James Weber, Ph.D.

Dr. James Weber founded PreventionGenetics in 2004 with a vision of "disease prevention through genetic testing." That vision has helped build a rapidly expanding company that provides comprehensive low cost, high quality clinical DNA testing.

An internationally acclaimed research scientist, Dr. Weber was a major contributor to The Human Genome Project. His discovery of Short Tandem Repeat Polymorphisms (microsatellites) and creation of the Marshfield Maps of the human genome was a significant advance in human genetics. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications (Click here for CV link).

Dr. Weber received a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California-Berkeley. From 1982-1986, he served in the United States Army working on malaria vaccines at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington. In 1986, Dr. Weber joined Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation where he was senior research scientist, director of the Center for Medical Genetics and director of the National Institutes of Health-funded Mammalian Genotyping Service.

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Amy Nystrom, MBA
Chief Business Officer (CBO)

Amy Nystrom, MBA

Amy Nystrom joined PreventionGenetics in January 2013. As the Chief Business Officer (CBO), she is the President's chief advisor for oversight and administration of all business aspects of the company. She assists the president with creating, communicating, executing, and sustaining strategic business initiatives ensuring that the Company's business operations are efficient and effective and the company maintains financial stability. As CBO she serves as secretary to the corporate board of directors and is the director of accounting and business development. Nystrom is a graduate of Central Michigan University, holding a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance. She earned a master's degree in business administration from Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin

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Dr. Tony Krentz, Ph.D.
Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Tony Krentz, Ph.D.

Specializing in Ciliopathies

Dr. Krentz joined PreventionGenetics in 2011, and currently serves as a Laboratory Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Tony has played a key role in developing and validating NextGen Sequencing tests at PreventionGenetics. During his tenure he has been the director of R&D, NextGen Sequencing, and Specimen Processing departments. As COO he works with the President to develop strategic plans, set priorities, and allocate resources to achieve company goals. Dr. Krentz received his PhD in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota.

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Dr. Robert Steiner, MD
Chief Medical Officer (CMO)

Dr. Robert Steiner, MD

Dr. Steiner joined PreventionGenetics in 2017 as Chief Medical Officer.  An acclaimed physician-scientist, Dr. Steiner practiced as a medical geneticist, taught, and carried out research at Washington University and OHSU for more than two decades.  At OHSU he rose through the academic ranks to Professor (tenured) and Vice Chair for Research in Pediatrics.  Dr. Steiner received his B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completing pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Fellowship in Medical Genetics was completed at the University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Steiner returned to Wisconsin in 2013 to direct the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute.  Subsequently, he served as Chief Medical Officer for Acer Therapeutics, leading clinical development during the transition to a publicly traded company. In addition to his primary role at PreventionGenetics, Dr. Steiner is a practicing part-time Clinical Professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, and Medical Geneticist/Medical Director at the Marshfield Clinic Health System.  He is board certified in pediatrics, clinical genetics, and clinical biochemical genetics.

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Dr. Angela Gruber, Ph.D.

Dr. Angela Gruber, Ph.D.

Specializing in Muscle Disorders and Kidney Disorders

Dr. Gruber joined PreventionGenetics in June 2014 as an Associate Human Molecular Geneticist. Her portfolio includes neuromuscular disorders such as myopathies, muscular dystrophies, and neuropathies such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease as well as kidney disorders including CAKUT, Nephrolithiasis, and Nephrocalcinosis. Dr. Gruber earned her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin.

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Dr. Ben Dorshorst, Ph.D.

Dr. Ben Dorshorst, Ph.D.

Specializing in Hearing Disorders

Dr. Dorshorst joined PreventionGenetics in January 2016 as a Associate Human Molecular Geneticist. His portfolio focuses on Hearing Loss and Deafness. Dr. Dorshorst received a Ph.D. in functional genomics from North Carolina State University. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin. Prior to coming to PreventionGenetics, Dr. Dorshorst was an Assistant Professor of Genetics at Virginia Tech.

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Dr. Diane Allingham-Hawkins, Ph.D., FCCMG, FACMG
Chief Geneticist

Dr. Diane Allingham-Hawkins, Ph.D., FCCMG, FACMG

Specializing in Cytogenetics and Hereditary Cancer Syndromes

Dr. Allingham-Hawkins is Chief Geneticist at PreventionGenetics. She is dual-certified in molecular genetics and cytogenetics by the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists (CCMG). Dr. Allingham-Hawkins earned her BSc in Honors Genetics from the University of Western Ontario in 1987 and her PhD from McMaster University in 1993. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship in Molecular Genetics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada in 1995. Prior to joining PreventionGenetics, Dr. Allingham-Hawkins was a private genetics laboratory consultant from 2015 to 2016 and Senior Director of Genetic Test Evaluation and Technical Editing at Hayes, Inc. from 2008 to 2015.

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Dr. Fang Xu, Ph.D., FACMG

Dr. Fang Xu, Ph.D., FACMG

Specializing in Infertility, Sex Development, and Ciliopathies

Dr. Xu joined PreventionGenetics in January 2016 as an Associate Laboratory Director. She is an ABMG-certified clinical cytogeneticist. Her portfolio focuses on reproductive disorders and infertility. Dr. Xu received her Ph.D. in Genetics from Nanjing University in China. She completed the ABMG fellowship in Clinical Cytogenetics at Yale University, Department of Genetics.

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Dr. Brett Deml, Ph.D., FACMG

Dr. Brett Deml, Ph.D., FACMG

Specializing in Pediatric Cardiovascular Disorders

Dr. Deml joined PreventionGenetics in May 2018 as a Clinical Molecular Geneticist. His portfolio focuses on Cardiovascular Disorders. Before attending graduate school at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Deml was a Clinical Technologist at PreventionGenetics for four years, where he was instrumental in our Research and Development department. Dr. Deml received his Ph.D. in human genetics from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed a clinical molecular genetics fellowship at the University of Chicago.

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Dr. Eric Bend, Ph.D., FACMG

>Dr. Eric Bend, Ph.D., FACMG

Specializing in Obesity and Epilepsy

Dr. Bend joined PreventionGenetics in August 2018 as a Human Molecular Geneticist. His portfolio focuses on epilepsy and obesity. Dr. Bend received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. He then went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Utah and a 2-year clinical molecular genetics fellowship at the Greenwood Genetic Center in South Carolina.

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Dr. Renee Bend, Ph.D.

>Dr. Renee Bend, Ph.D.

Specializing in Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Intellectual Disability

Dr. Bend joined PreventionGenetics in August 2018 as an Associate Human Molecular Geneticist. Her portfolio focuses on neurodevelopmental disorders – in particular, intellectual disability. Renee earned her doctorate degree in neuroscience from the University of Utah. Originally from southern Oregon, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in biology at Lewis and Clark College, in Portland.

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Dr. Kym Bliven, Ph.D.

Dr. Kym Bliven, Ph.D.

Specializing in Mitochondrial Disorders

Dr. Bliven joined PreventionGenetics in August 2015 as an Associate Human Molecular Geneticist. Her portfolio focuses on mitochondrial disorders. Dr. Bliven received her Ph.D. from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

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Dr. Li Fan, MD, Ph.D., FCCMG, FACMG

Dr. Li Fan, MD, Ph.D., FCCMG, FACMG

Specializing in Neurologic Disorders

Dr. Fan joined PreventionGenetics in July 2015 as an Associate Laboratory Director. Her primary area of expertise is clinical molecular genetics in neuroscience. Dr. Fan’s portfolio at PreventionGenetics includes tests for Alzheimer’s disease and brain malformations. Dr. Fan received her medical degree from Zhejiang Medical University and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from The University of Queensland in Australia. She has been working in a Clinical Molecular Diagnostic setting for over 15 years, previously at the University of Montreal.

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Dr. Luke Drury, Ph.D., DLM(ASCP)CM, HCLD(ABB), MB(ASCP)CM
Clinical Laboratory Director

Dr. Luke Drury, Ph.D.

Specializing in Red Blood Cell Disorders and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Dr. Drury joined PreventionGenetics in September 2013 as a Human Molecular Geneticist. His portfolio focuses on red blood cell disorders and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He is certified as a High Complexity Clinical Lab Director through the American Board of Bioanalysis and as a Diplomat of Laboratory Management through the American Society of Clinical Pathology. He is also the director of the sequencing laboratory at PreventionGenetics. Dr. Drury received his Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Prior to coming to PreventionGenetics, he was a postdoctoral research scholar at the University of Iowa.

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Dr. McKenna Kyriss, Ph.D.

Dr. McKenna Kyriss, Ph.D.

Specializing in Metabolic Disorders

Dr. Kyriss joined PreventionGenetics in November 2014 as an Associate Human Molecular Geneticist. Her portfolio includes metabolic disorders and Huntington Disease. Dr. Kyriss received her B.S. in biology from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA and her Ph.D. in Molecular Biosciences from the Washington State University.

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Dr. Mike Chicka, Ph.D.

Dr. Mike Chicka, Ph.D.

Specializing in Blood Disorders

Dr. Chicka joined PreventionGenetics in August 2010 as a Human Molecular Geneticist. His portfolio of specialties focuses on blood disorders, including cytopenias, familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL), fanconi anemia (FA) inherited bone marrow failure and hematologic malignancies. Dr. Chicka received his Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked in the department of biochemistry at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

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Dr. Wuyan Chen, Ph.D.

Dr. Wuyan Chen, Ph.D.

Specializing in Kidney Disorders and Diabetes

Dr. Chen joined PreventionGenetics in January 2013 as a Human Molecular Geneticist. Dr. Chen’s portfolio of specialties includes kidney disorders and diabetes. He is our expert of the CYP21A2 gene testing for congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). He has served as previous director for Research and Development and NextGen Sequencing at PreventionGenetics. A native of Guangdong Province in southern China, Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.

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Dr. Greg Fischer, Ph.D.

Dr. Greg Fischer, Ph.D.

Specializing in Autism

Dr. Fisher joined PreventionGenetics in October 2016 as an Associate Human Molecular Geneticist. His portfolio focuses on disease association testing via Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) typing and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Fischer earned his BSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2011 and his PhD in Genetics from the University of WisconsinMadison in 2016.

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Christina Zaleski, MS, CGC
Director of Genetic Counseling & Client Services

Christina Zaleski, MS, CGC

Christina Zaleski earned a Master of Science degree in genetic counseling from Sarah Lawrence College in 1999. After graduation, she did genealogy work for Rockefeller University in South Africa. She then worked at the Marshfield Clinic as lead genetic counselor from 1999-2012. Christina is currently Director of Genetic Counseling & Client Services at PreventionGenetics. Christina has experience in many areas including prenatal, pediatric, cancer, specialty clinics, stillbirth evaluations, administration, public health education, and industry. She developed clinical genetics outreach & telehealth genetic counseling services in Wisconsin. She served on St. Joseph Hospital’s Bioethics team and was co-investigator on research projects. Christina has published scientific articles in the areas of clinical genetics, stillbirth evaluations, newborn screening, utilization management, and workflow. Highlights of her career include receiving Leadership Award for Excellence in Community Service from the March of Dimes, Wisconsin Chapter, and being nominated by peers as a JEMF Master Genetic Counselor.

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Gina Londre, MS, CGC
Laboratory Genetic Counselor

Gina Londre, MS, CGC

Gina Londre has been a Laboratory Genetic Counselor at PreventionGenetics since 2013. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2011 and a Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling from Wayne State University in Detroit in 2013. In 2014, she obtained her board-certification through the American Board of Genetic Counseling. As part of the team at PreventionGenetics, Gina provides clinical expertise and quality customer service. She has been heavily involved in the exome team, collaborative partnerships, educational outreach, and utilization management.

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Megan Nelson, MS, CGC
Laboratory Genetic Counselor

Megan Nelson, MS, CGC

Megan Nelson has been a Laboratory Genetic Counselor at PreventionGenetics since 2015. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She earned her Master of Science degree in Medical Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010. She also became certified through the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2010. Megan has five years of clinical genetic counseling experience in Wisconsin. She established a genetics department in a community hospital as a new graduate, and she also has experience in a regional cancer center.

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Connie Schultz, MS, CGC
Laboratory Genetic Counselor

Connie Schultz, MS, CGC

Connie received her Master of Science degree in Medical Genetics from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1994. She has Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin River Falls. Connie began her career doing medical research on microsatellite instability in breast cancer, followed by the study of avian neural crest cell development. She moved to a histocompatability and immunogentics laboratory matching organ and marrow donors with recipients. She has accumulated over 2 decades of additional experience; providing genetic counseling in prenatal, oncology, thrombophilia, neuromuscular and neurogenetics. She has extensive experience in multidisciplinary teams, and played significant roles in the review of genetic testing for compliance. Connie has also developed and implemented genetic testing policies in both clinical and insurance settings. She has coordinated clinical experiences and provided student supervision for genetic counseling interns and residents.

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Harriet Druker, MSc, MBA
Genetic Counsellor / Regional Account Manager for Ontario, Eastern Canada, and Michigan

Harriet Druker, MSc, MBA

Harriet Druker, MSc, MBA is a Genetic Counsellor and Regional Account Manager for Eastern Canada and Michigan. Harriet obtained her BSc in Biology and MSc in Genetic Counselling from McGill University in 1993 and 1996 respectively. In 2006, she received an MBA from the Schulich School of Business. Harriet worked for 22 years as a clinical genetic counsellor in prenatal, paediatrics, and cancer genetics. From 2000 -2018 she was the senior genetic counsellor in the first paediatric Cancer Genetics Program in North America at The Hospital for Sick Children. She was the Director of the Cancer Genetic Counselling Course for Master level students at The University of Toronto from 2000-2017. She continues as an adjunct lecturer and clinical supervisor. Harriet was a Principal Investigator at SickKids’ Research Institute and a senior author and co-investigator for numerous research studies. Harriet served as a resource for many hereditary cancer groups including Li-Fraumeni Exploration (LiFE) International Research Consortium, Canadian MEN 1, Tuberous Sclerosis Canada Sclerose Tubereuse, VHL Alliance, and was an invited member of the AACR Pediatric Cancer Working Group which established surveillance guideli

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Dr. Hannah Cox, Ph.D.

Dr. Hannah Cox, Ph.D.

Specializing in Whole Exome and Neonatal Crisis

Dr. Cox joined PreventionGenetics in January 2019 as an Associate Molecular Geneticist. Her portfolio focuses on exomes and neonatal as well as tests for a variety of disorders including: cleft lip/palate, holoprosencephaly, CHARGE and Kallmann syndromes, Lipodystrophies, trimethylaminuria, and hereditary cancer. She received and her Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Griffith University in Queensland. Prior to joining PreventionGenetics, Dr. Cox worked as a Scientist for Myriad Genetic Laboratories.

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Dr. Allison Cox, Ph.D.

Dr. Allison Cox, Ph.D.

Specializing in Skeletal Disorders

Dr. Cox joined PreventionGenetics in May 2021 as an Associate Human Molecular Geneticist. Her portfolio focuses on skeletal disorders. Dr. Cox earned a Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of Iowa in 2016 and completed an ABMGG Laboratory Genetics and Genomics (LGG) fellowship at Yale University in March 2021.

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Christèle DuSouich, MSc, CGC, CCGC
Genetic Counsellor / Regional Account Manager Canada West, Quebec, Australia/New Zealand

Christèle DuSouich, MSc, CGC, CCGC

Christèle was born in Barcelona and subsequently moved to Montreal where she graduated from McGill University with a degree in Biology and Human Genetics before obtaining her Master’s Degree in Genetic Counseling. She is certified through both the Canadian and American Boards of Genetic Counseling.

After graduation in 1995, Christèle worked as a clinical genetic counsellor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre in Vancouver, mainly in prenatal, paediatric and adult genetics settings; she was also appointed as a Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC. In 2015 she became the principal genetic counsellor for the CAUSES project: a three year translational research initiative that performed genome wide sequencing in 500 paediatric patients with suspected genetic conditions. In 2016, Christèle was appointed as the principal genetic counsellor for the RAPIDOMICS project, which performed rapid whole exome sequencing in NICU patients at the BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre.

Throughout her career, Christèle has been very active in rare disease research publishing numerous original research papers and presenting her work at many national and international conferences. She is also an active member of the Scientific Program Committee of the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors and retains her UBC appointment teaching and supervising Genetic Counseling students.

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Dr. Jessica Tumolo, Ph.D.

Dr. Jessica Tumolo, Ph.D.

Specializing in Gastrointestinal Disorders

Dr. Tumolo joined PreventionGenetics in 2019 as an Associate Human Molecular Geneticist. Dr. Tumolo received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Clemson University and her Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Vanderbilt University.

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Dr. Dana Talsness, Ph.D.

Dr. Dana Talsness, Ph.D.

Specializing in Eye Disorders

Dr. Talsness joined PreventionGenetics in April 2021 and currently serves as an Associate Human Molecular Geneticist, where she focuses on Eye Disorders. Dr. Talsness received her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, and Genetics at the University of Minnesota, was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology for three years at her undergraduate alma mater, Luther College, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Genomic Medicine at the University of Utah.

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Dr. Erin Sybouts, Ph.D.

Dr. Erin Sybouts, Ph.D.

Specializing in Repeat Expansion Disorders, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and VACTERL Association

Dr. Sybouts joined PreventionGenetics in February 2020 as an Associate Human Molecular Geneticist, where she focuses on repeat expansion disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, and VACTERL association. Dr. Sybouts earned her Ph.D. in Cellular and Structural Biology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas.

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Dr. Jamie Fox, Ph.D.

Dr. Jamie Fox, Ph.D.

Specializing in Pharmacogenetics and Congenital Cataracts

Dr. Fox joined PreventionGenetics in 2019 as an Associate Molecular Geneticist. Dr. Fox received her Ph.D. in biomedical science from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Prior to joining PreventionGenetics, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation and the University of Wisconsin.

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Kayleigh Avello, MS, CGC
Laboratory Genetic Counselor

Kayleigh Avello, MS, CGC

Kayleigh Avello joined PreventionGenetics as a Laboratory Genetic Counselor in July 2019. Originally from Illinois, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. After completing her undergraduate degree, Kayleigh worked in hospice and as a Neurology Genetic Counseling Assistant for a genetic testing laboratory. She later obtained her Master of Science degree from the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Program as a member of the inaugural class. During her graduate studies, she spent time in Sioux Falls, SD as well as completed two clinical rotations in Tucson, AZ and Fargo, ND. During her graduate studies, she worked as an Oncology Genetic Counseling Assistant at the Avera Cancer Center in Sioux Falls. Kayleigh joined the pediatrics department at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in 2018. During her time there, she saw patients within the general pediatric, metabolic and newborn screen clinics, as well as helped to create a neurogenetics and utilization management program.

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Shawn Gessay, MS, CGC
Laboratory Genetic Counselor

Shawn Gessay, MS, CGC

Shawn Gessay, MS, CGC joined PreventionGenetics as a Laboratory Genetic Counselor in August 2020. In this role, she is passionate about increasing patient access to genetic testing and empowering them to use that information in a way that’s meaningful to their medical course of care.

Originally from Virginia, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience & Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. She obtained her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. During her graduate studies, she spent time at Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, and the University of Louisville in multiple specialty areas including reproductive, cancer, pediatric, and general adult genetics.

Shawn joined the Genetic Counseling team at University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, in 2017. During her time there, she saw patients in pediatric hematology/oncology, adult oncology, and established an adult neurogenetics clinic.

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Dr. Chun-An Chen, Ph.D.

Dr. Chun-An Chen, Ph.D.

Specializing in Adult Cardiovascular Disorders

Dr. Chen joined PreventionGenetics in August 2020 as an Associate Human Molecular Geneticist. His portfolio focuses on adult cardiovascular disorders and Marfan syndrome. Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Human Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine. He completed the ABMGG fellowship in Laboratory Genetics and Genomics at Baylor College of Medicine.

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Dr. Megan Piazza, Ph.D., FACMG

Dr. Megan Piazza, Ph.D., FACMG

Specializing in Immunodeficiency Disorders

Dr. Piazza joined PreventionGenetics in August 2019 and currently serves as a Clinical Molecular Geneticist and director of the Specimen Processing Laboratory. Her portfolio focuses on Immunodeficiency disorders. Dr. Piazza received her Ph.D. in Genetics and Genome Sciences, completed an ABMGG Cytogenetics Laboratory Fellowship and ABMGG Molecular Genetics Laboratory Fellowship at the University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

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