Senior Staff

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

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
Chief Business Officer (CBO)

Amy Nystrom, CBO

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 (COO)

Dr. Tony Krentz, Ph.D.

Dr. Krentz specializes in Ciliopathies

Tony Krentz joined PreventionGenetics in 2011 as a Human Molecular Geneticist. 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. Tony Krentz received his PhD in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota.

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Dr. Jerry Machado, Ph.D.
Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Dr. Jerry Machado, Ph.D.

Dr. Machado specializes in Hereditary Cancer Syndromes

Jerry Machado is an ABMGG and CCMG-certified Lab Director in molecular genetics, and Chief Operating Officer at PreventionGenetics. He received his BSc and MSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics from York University in Toronto, Canada. Jerry then received his PhD in Cancer Genetics at the University of Toronto. He then went on to complete a 2-year clinical molecular genetics fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Jerry joined PreventionGenetics in 2012 and is a specialist in the genetic causes of inherited cancer syndromes, and leads the effort of whole exome sequencing. In addition, he is responsible for operations, strategic decisions, and policies of the company.

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

Dr. Jerry Machado, Ph.D.

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.

Dr. Gruber specializes in Muscle Disorders

Angela Gruber, Ph.D., joined PreventionGenetics in June 2014 as a Human Molecular Geneticist. Her portfolio includes neuromuscular disorders such as myopathies, muscular dystrophies, and neuropathies such as Charcot-Marie- Tooth Disease. She is the current director of the Specimen Processing Department at PreventionGenetics. 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.

Dr. Dorshorst specializes in Hearing Disorders

Ben Dorshorst, Ph.D., joined PreventionGenetics in January 2016 as a 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

Dr. Diane Allingham-Hawkins, Ph.D.

Dr. Allingham-Hawkins specializes in Cytogenetics and Hereditary Cancer Syndromes

Dr. Diane Allingham-Hawkins is a Laboratory Director at PreventionGenetics, LLC, in Marshfield, WI. 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

Dr. Xu specializes in Infertility and Sex Development

Fang Xu, Ph.D., FACMG 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. Juan Dong, MD, Ph.D., FACMG

Dr. Juan Dong, Ph.D., FACMG

Dr. Dong specializes in Skeletal, Skin, Dental Disorders

Juan Dong, MD, Ph.D., FACMG, joined PreventionGenetics in March 2012 and currently serves as a laboratory director. She is an ABMGG-certified clinical Molecular Geneticist. Her portfolio at PreventionGenetics focuses on skeletal, skin and dental genetic disorders. She received her medical and master's degrees from Harbin Medical University in China and her Ph.D. degree from the Heidelberg University in Germany. She completed the American Board of Medical Genetics training in clinical molecular genetics at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

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Dr. Brett Deml, Ph.D.

Dr. Brett Deml, Ph.D.

Dr. Brett Deml specializes in Cardiovascular Disorders

Brett Deml, Ph.D., joined PreventionGenetics in May 2018 as a Human 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.

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Dr. Eric Bend, Ph.D.

>Dr. Eric Bend, Ph.D.

Dr. Eric Bend specializes in Pharmacogenetics and Obesity

Eric Bend, Ph.D., joined PreventionGenetics in August 2018 as a Human Molecular Geneticist. His portfolio focuses on Pharmacogenetics and Obesity. Dr. Bend received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Eric 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. Eric Bend, Ph.D.

Dr. Renee Bend specializes in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Renee Bend, Ph.D., joined PreventionGenetics in August 2018 as a 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, researching axon guidance in the developing zebrafish brain. Originally from southern Oregon, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in biology at Lewis and Clark College, in Portland.

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Dr. Khemissa Bejaoui, Ph.D.

Dr. Khemissa Bejaoui, Ph.D.

Dr. Bejaoui specializes in Developmental Disorders and ALS

Khemissa Bejaoui, Ph.D., is a clinical Molecular Geneticist at PreventionGenetics. Her portfolio of tests focuses on neurologic disorders. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Paris XI in France. Prior to joining PreventionGenetics, she worked as an independent investigator at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation. She also spent several years in the Day Neuromuscular Laboratory of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bejaoui helped identify the genes involved in in several neuromuscular diseases, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy and a Hereditary Sensory Neuropathy.

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Dr. Kym Bliven, Ph.D.

Dr. Kym Bliven, Ph.D.

Dr. Bliven specializes in Mitochondrial Disorders

Kym Bliven, Ph.D., joined PreventionGenetics in August 2015 as a 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

Dr. Fan specializes in Epilepsy, Intellectual Disorders

Li Fan, MD, PhD, M.Phil. FCCMG, FACMG, 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 Epilepsy and Intellectual Disability. 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.

Dr. Luke Drury, Ph.D.

Dr. Drury specializes in Blood Disorders

Luke Drury, Ph.D., joined PreventionGenetics in September 2013 as a Human Molecular Geneticist. His portfolio focuses on blood disorders including anemias, autoinflammatory disorders and hemostatsis. He is also the director of the Sanger sequencing laboratory. 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. Madhulatha Pantrangi, Ph.D.

Dr. Madhulatha Pantrangi, Ph.D.

Dr. Pantrangi specializes in Vision Disorders

Madhulatha Pantrangi, Ph.D., joined PreventionGenetics in January 2013 as a Human Molecular Geneticist. Her portfolio focuses on eye disorders. While at PreventionGenetics, she has also served as DNA Banking Advisor. Dr. Pantrangi received her Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Delhi and her master's in biotechnology from Pondicherry University, both in India. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation.

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Dr. McKenna Kyriss, Ph.D.

Dr. McKenna Kyriss, Ph.D.

Dr. Kyriss specializes in Metabolic Disorders, Huntington Disease

McKenna Kyriss, Ph.D., joined PreventionGenetics in November 2014 as a Human Molecular Geneticist. Her portfolio includes metabolic disorders and Huntington Disease. Dr. Kyriss received her B.S. in biology from Pacific Lutheran University in 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.

Dr. Chicka specializes in Blood Disorders

Michael Chicka, Ph.D., joined PreventionGenetics in August 2010 as a Molecular Geneticist. His portfolio of specialties focuses on blood disorders, including cytopenias, familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL), Fanconi anemia (FA) and inherited forms of leukemia. 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. Sri Sampath, Ph.D., FACMG

Dr. Sri Sampath, Ph.D., FACMG

Dr. Sampath specializes in Cytogenetics

Srirangan Sampath, Ph.D., joined PreventionGenetics in October 2013 as an American Board of Medical Genetics certified clinical cytogeneticist. He is the current director of the microarray laboratory at PreventionGenetics. His main area of focus is Chromosomal Microarray Analysis (CMA) testing. He completed an ABMGG fellowship in Clinical Cytogenetics at Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics.

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Dr. Wuyan Chen, Ph.D.

Dr. Wuyan Chen, Ph.D.

Dr. Chen specializes in Kidney Disorders & Diabetes

Wuyan Chen, Ph.D., 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 also serves as the current director of the NextGen sequencing laboratory and is the previous director or Research and Development 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. Wuyan Chen, Ph.D.

Dr. Fischer specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Greg Fischer, PhD, joined PreventionGenetics in October 2016 as a 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 Wisconsin-Madison 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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Dr. Elaine Welch, Ph.D.

Elaine Welch, Ph.D.

Dr. Welch specializes in Hereditary Cancers

Elaine joined PreventionGenetics in September 2017 as an Associate Human Molecular Geneticist. Dr. Welch received her Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Harriet Druker, MSc, MBA
Genetic Counselor / 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 for PreventionGenetics. 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 the fields of prenatal, pediatrics, and cancer genetics. Harriet worked from 2000 -2018 as the senior genetic counsellor in the first paediatric Cancer Genetics Program in North America which she helped to establish at The Hospital for Sick Children. Harriet supervised hundreds of genetic counselling students and genetic trainees. She was the Director of the Cancer Genetic Counselling Course for Master level students at The University of Toronto from 2000-2017. She continues to be involved as an adjunct lecturer and clinical supervisor at The University of Toronto in the Division of Molecular Genetics. Harriet was a Principal Investigator at SickKids' Research Institute and a senior author and and co-investigator for numerous research studies. Harriet served as a resource for many hereditary cancer groups including LIFE International Research Consortium for Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, Canadian Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1, Tuberous Sclerosis Canada Sclerose Tubereuse, VHL Alliance, and was an invited member of the AACR Pediatric Cancer Working Group which established surveillance guidelines for all hereditary paediatric cancer predisposition syndromes in 2017.

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