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School of Nursing

Ph.D. Healthcare Genetics and Genomics

Welcome to the home of the interdisciplinary and online Ph.D. in Healthcare Genetics and Genomics. The curriculum offers the opportunity to learn from experts the vital elements of their discipline which can impact the evolving knowledge of genetics and/or genomics.

The impact of genetics on healthcare has the potential to be greater than any earlier scientific advancement. With all it promises in prevention, early detection diagnostics and treatment of disease, genetics will require a much different way of providing health care and conducting research. To help meet this challenge, Clemson University offers the first interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy in Healthcare Genetics.

  • Program Information

    Our program offers graduate students the opportunity to be mentored by interdisciplinary faculty from more than six disciplines. Core courses are in genetics, health care genetics, statistics, and research methods with cognates available in psychology, political science, policy and other areas to provide students with the tools necessary to develop a program of research. Core courses are offered in a live synchronous online format and students may choose to locate in the Clemson area or remain distance. Students will be matched with faculty to conduct dissertation research.

    With its highly collaborative research and practical-application structure, this program will prepare interdisciplinary scientists to:

    • collaborate with multiple disciplines to generate knowledge and develop theories that focus on the genomic aspects of actual and potential health problems.
    • formulate health promotion, disease prevention and treatment strategies that translate and integrate genomic knowledge from a variety of disciplines.
    • demonstrate leadership that facilitates interdisciplinary development and application of ethical guidelines and health policy in genetics.
    • A new lab offers students research projects that are being translated for use in the clinical setting while giving them experience to gain skills for their future research in the lab.
    • Students can participate in a variety of specialty genetic clinics and learn to research questions that are real to patients and their health care providers.
    • Implementation of a new annual seminar gives back timely information on significant genetic topics that can personally affect the local community and health care providers.
  • Are You A Candidate?
    • Those who have degrees in non-nursing disciplines but who have an interest in genetics
    • Those who are nurses who have an interest in genetics, particularly those with experience in obstetrics, pediatrics or oncology.
  • Applying

    For a Fall (August) start, applications are accepted through the Graduate School at Clemson University through January 1st.  Applications open in August (for the following year) and can be found here.  For more information about the Graduate School at Clemson University simply visit their site here.  Accepted students will attend a 2-day orientation during the Spring semester with one day being on campus at Clemson University and the next day at the Clemson Nursing Building in Greenville, SC. 

  • Application Criteria
    • Application for admission to the Graduate School by January 15th for Fall admission (the application becomes available in August each year).
    • At least a bachelor’s degree in a related health science discipline from an accredited institution.
    • A cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher (all college credits)
    • Official transcripts from all previous college credits
    • Three letters of recommendation for graduate study or Professional resume or curriculum vita (CV)
    • Personal statement and career goals
    • Writing sample (or master’s theses or publications)
    • Interview with faculty
    • TOEFL score (may be required by applicants for whom English is not their first language).   


    As of January 1, 2017, applicants who graduated from program(s) that award Pass/Fail grades for all courses will not be considered competitive applicants.

  • Our Faculty
  • Facilities

    Clemson offers unique facilities and centers for students and researchers:

    • The Genomics Institute ranks as a leading research and training center for discovering and analyzing genes important to agriculture, human health and the environment. The institute offers more than 150 genetic libraries of plants, animals and insects for use by scientists all over the world.
    • The S.C. DNA Learning Center provides outreach education in biotechnology and modern genetics to K-12 teachers, non-formal educators, students and the general public.
    • The Clemson University Biosystems Research Complex is one of the university’s newest laboratory facilities and serves as a focal point for biotechnology research, which uses life sciences to create new products and processes in medicine, agriculture and industry.
    • The Electron Microscope Facility holds state-of-the-art equipment. With a wide range of capabilities, this multi-user facility attracts clients from automotive, pharmaceutical, textile, electronics, environmental and medical industries.
    • The Joseph F. Sullivan Nursing Center is an academic nursing center that offers clinical practice opportunities for students while providing services to the community. The center has won numerous awards including the Best Chance Network Provider Facility of the Year.
    • The Center for Research on Health Disparities provides leadership to develop and advance comprehensive, culturally sensitive, community-based research that improves health outcomes and enhances quality of life. The center links faculty, students and community members to advance research on the complex causes of health disparities and strategies to eliminate these disparities.
    • The Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics provides the campus and community with a forum for exploration and discussion of ethical issues. The flagship project of the center is to cultivate the Ethics-Across-the-Curriculum movement.
    • The School of Nursing Healthcare Genetics Wet Lab offers tissue-culture capabilities for students interested in translating research from bench to bedside. Cell flow cytometry and cell sorting are also available through University partners.
  • Reciprocity

    South Carolina is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and Clemson University (CU) is an approved SARA institution, which means we adhere to established standards for offering post-secondary e-learning programs. State authorization allows CU the ability to offer online programs to students who live outside of SC OR enroll students in learning placements that will take place outside of SC (such as internships, clinicals, practicums, and student teaching). CU must meet all of the regulatory requirements, including those from licensure/certification boards, of the state where the student physically resides or where an activity will take place. IT IS IMPERATIVE YOU UNDERSTAND THE REGULATIONS FOR YOUR STATE PRIOR TO ENROLLING IN ANY ACADEMIC PROGRAM OR COURSE. Please review our state authorizations to determine if specific program offerings or learning placements are available in the state which you will be physically located while enrolled. If you experience difficulty finding the requirements for a specific state, please email for help.

    If you are expecting a change in your physical location, contact the State Authorization office as soon as you know the anticipated location(s). Physical presence in a location where we do not meet state regulatory requirements can negatively impact our ability to offer you federal financial aid, military tuition assistance, or your continuation within the program. These restrictions extend to courses taken online over the summer, internships, clinicals or other forms of learning placements if they are conducted outside of an approved state. Students are responsible for providing accurate and updated information about their physical presence to the institution. Early notification allows the institution to minimize, but may not prevent, the possibility of program delays/offerings.

  • Publications/Presentations from HCG Students & Faculty

    Butler KM, Patterson WG, Tedder M, Lee JA, Louie RJ, Geneviève D, Sadikovic B. Novel Pathogenic Sequence Variants in Yin Yang 1 (YY1) Transcription Factor and Abnormal DNA Methylation Profile. Poster presented at: ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting; 2021 April 13- 16; Virtual. 

    Cooley Coleman JA, Sarasua SM, Boccuto L, Moore HW, Skinner SA, DeLuca JM. Tremors: A concept analysis. Nurs Open. 2021 Apr 2. doi: 10.1002/nop2.840. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 337978602020

    Cooley Coleman JA, Sarasua SM, Boccuto L, Moore HW, Skinner SA, DeLuca JM. Comprehensive investigation of the phenotype of MEF2C-related disorders in human patients: A systematic review. Am J Med Genet A. 2021 Jun 29. doi:0.1002/ajmg.a.62412. Online ahead of print. PMID: 34184825

    Dyar B, Meaddough E, Sarasua SM, Rogers C, Phelan K, Boccuto L. Genetic Findings as the Potential Basis of Personalized Pharmacotherapy in Phelan-McDermid Syndrome. Genes (Basel). 2021 Jul 30;12(8):1192. doi: 10.3390/genes12081192. PMID: 34440366 Free PMC article. Review.

    Fredrikson KM, Fasolino T. Pharmacogenetic testing: Clinical integration and application for chronic pain management. Nurse Pract. 2021 Apr 1;46(4):12-19. doi: 10.1097/01.NPR.0000737180.73290.1f. PMID: 33739321

    Jain L, Oberman LM, Beamer L, Cascio L, May M, Srikanth S, Skinner C, Jones K, Allen B, Rogers C, Phelan K, Kaufmann WE, DuPont B, Sarasua SM, Boccuto L. Genetic and metabolic profiling of individuals with Phelan-McDermid syndrome presenting with seizures. Clin Genet. 2021 Oct 19. doi: 10.1111/cge.14074. Online ahead of print. PMID: 34664257

    Meaddough EL, Sarasua SM, Fasolino TK, Farrell CL. The impact of pharmacogenetic testing in patients exposed to polypharmacy: a scoping review. Pharmacogenomics J. 2021 Aug;21(4):409-422. doi: 10.1038/s41397-021-00224-w. Epub 2021 Jun 17. PMID: 34140647

    Meaddough E, Abenavoli L, Sarasua S, Boccuto L. Genetic and environmental factors influencing the interaction between the gut microbiota and the human host: implications for gastrointestinal disorders and treatment approaches. Minerva Gastroenterol (Torino). 2021 May 31. doi: 10.23736/S2724-5985.21.02927-2. Online ahead of print. PMID: 34057334

    Srikanth S, Jain L, Zepeda-Mendoza C, Cascio L, Jones K, Pauly R, DuPont B, Rogers C, Sarasua S, Phelan K, Morton C, Boccuto L. Position effects of 22q13 rearrangements on candidate genes in Phelan-McDermid syndrome. PLoS One. 2021 Jul;16(7):e0253859. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0253859. eCollection 2021.PMID: 34228749 Free PMC article.

    Patterson, Wesley-presentation at the Clinical Genetics Advanced Practice Provider (CGAPP) Conference on 9/29/2021.  Title: Genetics 101

    Patterson WG, Abidi FE, Gass JM, Dobson AT, Lichty AW, Lyda SF, Ziats CA, Cooley Coleman JA, Prijoles EJ,DuPont BR, Skinner SA, Stevenson RE. Using Pyrosequencing to Determine the Allele Origin of 15q Duplication Syndrome. Poster presented at: ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting; 2021 April 13-16; Virtual. 

    Shi X, Abidi F, Butler K, Cooley Coleman J, Louie R, Caylor R, Jones J, Friez M, Lee J. Performance of In Silico Splice Tools Used at the GGC for DecisionMaking in Molecular Diagnosis. Poster presented at: ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting; 2021 April 13-16; Virtual. 


    Ganakammal SR, Alexov E. Evaluation of performance of leading algorithms for variant pathogenicity predictions and designing a combinatory predictor method: application to Rett syndrome variants. PeerJ. 2019 Nov 27;7:e8106. doi:10.7717/peerj.8106. eCollection 2019. PubMed PMID: 31799076; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6884988.

    Ganakammal, SR. & Alexov, E. (2020). In-silco analysis to identify the role of MEN1 missense mutations in breast cancer. Journal of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry.

    Jain, L, Sarasua, S, & Boccuto, L. 'Effects of deletion sizes and second-hits on seizures in patients with Phelan-McDermid syndrome'. 2020 Healthcare Genetics Research Symposium held virtually on July 31, 2020. 

    Sow, C, Laughhunn A, Girard YA, Lanteri MC, El Dusouqui SA, Stassinopoulos A and Grellier P. Inactivation of Plasmodium falciparum in whole blood using the amustaline and glutathione pathogen reduction technology. Transfusion 2020; doi:10.1111/trf.15734.   

    Fredrikson KM, Fasolino T. Pharmacogenetic Testing: The Ethics of Implementing in Clinical Practice for Chronic Pain Patients. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2020 Jun;34(2):69-76. doi: 10.1080/15360288.2019.1707929. Epub 2020 Jan 7. PMID: 31909692

    Lowe, T. B., DeLuca, J., & Arnold, G. A. (2020). Similarities and differences in key diagnosis, treatment, and management approaches for PAH deficiency in the United States and Europe. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 15(266). doi:  10.1186/s13023-020-01541-2

    Lowe, T. B., DeLuca, J., & Arnold, G. A. (2020). Neurocognitive, neuropsychiatric, and neurological outcomes associated with phenylalanine hydroxylase deficiency: Assessment considerations for nurse practitioners. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing. doi: 10.1111/jspn.12312

    Paquin M, Fasolino T. Renal Cell Cancer Syndromes: Identification and Management of Patients and Families at Increased Risk. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2020 Aug 1;24(4):356-359. doi: 10.1188/20.CJON.356-359. PMID: 32678365

    Paquin M, Fasolino T, Steck MB. Breast Cancer Risk Prediction Models: Challenges in Clinical Application. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2019 Jun 1;23(3):256-259. doi: 10.1188/19.CJON.256-259. PMID: 31099796 Review.

    Schenkel LC, Aref-Eshghi E, Rooney K, Kerkhof J, Levy MA, McConkey H, Rogers RC, Phelan K, Sarasua SM, Jain L, Pauly R, Boccuto L, DuPont B, Cappuccio G, Brunetti-Pierri N, Schwartz CE, Sadikovic B. DNA methylation epi-signature is associated with two molecularly and phenotypically distinct clinical subtypes of Phelan-McDermid syndrome. Clin Epigenetics. 2021 Jan 6;13(1):2. doi: 10.1186/s13148-020-00990-7.PMID: 33407854 Free PMC article.

    Ziats CA, Jain L, McLarney B, Vandenboom E, DuPont BR, Rogers C, Sarasua S, Nevado J, Cordisco EL, Phelan K,Boccuto L. Neurofibromatosis type 2 in Phelan-McDermid syndrome: Institutional experience and review of the literature; Eur J Med Genet. 2020 Aug 19;63(11):104042. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2020.104042. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32822873

    Lagoe, E., Aptekar, L., Beretich, L., Shaw, J., Sotile, C., van den Berg, S., Wong, M., Dillon, M., Birch, A., Zimmerman, Edelmann, L., & Kornreich, R. (2020). Identification of hemizygous males by expanded carrier screening. American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting, Poster Presentation, Virtual. (Coauthor on a published paper (although it's not officially in print yet))

    Roxana Moslehi, Cristy Stagnar, Sneha Srinivasan, Pawel Radziszowski, and David O. Carpenter.  The Role of Arsenic and Gene-Arsenic Interactions in Susceptibility to Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review. Reviews on Environmental Health.

    Moslehi, R., Tsao, H. S., Zeinomar, N., Stagnar, C., Fitzpatrick, S., & Dzutsev, A. (2020). Integrative genomic analysis implicates ERCC6 and its interaction with ERCC8 in susceptibility to breast cancer. Scientific Reports10(1), 1-13.

    Stagnar, Christy-guest speaker in a STEM career panel at the Bridge High School Equivalency (HSE) program at LaGuardia Community College

    Ziats CA, Jain L, McLarney B, et al. Neurofibromatosis type 2 in Phelan-McDermid syndrome: Institutional experience and review of the literature. European Journal of Medical Genetics. 2020;63(11):104042


    Blommel, J.H., Peterson, L.M., Advancing Your Sequencing to the Next Generation. Association for Genetic Technologists 2019 Annual Meeting. 6-23-2019

    Jerde, C.R., Blommel, J.H., The Basics of NGS. University of Minnesota Rochester – Guest Lecture BIOL3311. 11-18-2019

    Black M, LaCroix R, Hoerster K, Chen S, Ritchey K, Souza M, Utech A, Thielke S. Healthy Teaching Kitchen Programs: Experiential Nutrition Education Across Veterans Health Administration, 2018. Am J Public Health. 2019 Dec; 109(12):1718-1721 (PMID:31622156) 

    Lee EG, Tulloch J, Chen S, Leong L, Darvas M, Keene D, Shutes-David A, Todd K, Millard S, Yu CE. (in press). Redefining transcriptional regulation of the APOE gene and its association with Alzheimer’s disease. PLOS ONE. 2020 Jan; 15(1):e0227667  

    Stagnar, C Nowatzky, J., Resnick, E., Manasson, J., Stagnar, C., Al‐Obeidi, A. F., & Manches, O. (2019). Flow Plex—A tool for unbiased comprehensive flow cytometry data analysis. Immunity, inflammation and disease, 7(3), 105-111.

    Stagnar, C Nowatzky, J., Stagnar, C., & Manches, O. (2019). OMIP‐053: Identification, Classification, and Isolation of Major FoxP3 Expressing Human CD4+ Treg Subsets. Cytometry Part A, 95(3), 264-267.

    Wu B, Peng Y, Eggert J, Alexov E. Novel Genetic Markers for Early Detection of Elevated Breast Cancer Risk in Women. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Sep 28;20(19). pii: E4828. doi: 10.3390/ijms20194828. PubMed PMID: 31569399; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6801521.

    Paquin M, Fasolino T, Steck MB. Breast Cancer Risk Prediction Models: Challenges in Clinical Application. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2019 Jun 1;23(3):256-259. doi: 10.1188/19.CJON.256-259. PubMed PMID: 31099796.

    Paquin, M Paquin M. and Fasolino T. (In Press) Genetic manifestations of hereditary renal cancer: identification and management of patients and families at increased risk. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.

    Chen, S: Abstract presented at the Alzheimer's and Dementia Poster conference 

    • June 2019 
    • Alzheimer's and Dementia 15(7):P1308-P1309

    Beretich, L. & DeLuca, J. (2019). Best practices in telemedicine environment design: An integrative review. International Nursing Conference for Excellence in Healthcare Design, Poster Presentation, Greenville, SC.

    Beretich, L., Drazba, K., Lyons, M., & DeLuca, J. (2019). GGC patient experiences with telegenetics in South Carolina. Southeastern Regional Genetics Group (SERGG) Annual Meeting, Poster Presentation, Asheville, NC.

    Beretich, L., DeLuca, J., & Eggert, J. (2019). Psychosocial implications of prenatal telehealth genetic counseling: A systematic review. Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS), Poster Presentation, Clemson, SC.


    Beretich, L., DeLuca, J., & Eggert, J. (2018). Psychosocial implications of prenatal telehealth genetic counselling: A systematic review. Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and EHealth, 6(1), e21 (1-5).

    Osier N, Motamedi V, Edwards K, Puccio A, Diaz-Arrastia R, Kenney K, Gill J. Exosomes in Acquired Neurological Disorders: New Insights into Pathophysiology and Treatment. Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Dec;55(12):9280-9293. doi: 10.1007/s12035-018-1054-4. Epub 2018 Apr 16. Review. PubMed PMID: 29663285.

    Peng Y, Myers R, Zhang W, Alexov E. Computational Investigation of the Missense Mutations in DHCR7 Gene Associated with Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jan 4;19(1). pii: E141. doi: 10.3390/ijms19010141. PubMed PMID: 29300326; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5796090.

    Beretich, L., DeLuca, J.M., Eggert, J. (2018). Psychosocial implications of prenatal health genetic counseling. The Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth. 6, e21, ISONG 2018 Congress Poster: Pre-emptive Pharmacogenetics (PGx) Testing for Adult Noncancer Chronic Pain Karin Fredrikson, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA


    Coovadia A, Eggert JA. Future Perspectives in Cancer Screening and Early Detection. Semin Oncol Nurs. 2017May;33(2):219-222. doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2017.02.010. Epub 2017 Mar 27. PubMed PMID: 28359654.


    Jacobson S, Tedder M, Eggert J. Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Genetic Overview and Application to Clinical Practice. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2016 Dec.


    Jacobson S, Eggert J, Deluca J, Speckhart D. Misattributed paternity in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: the role of the healthcare provider. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2015 Apr;19(2):218-21. doi: 10.1188/15.CJON.218-221. PubMed PMID: 25840388.

    Tedder M, Shi L, Si M, Franco R, Chen L. eMindfulness Therapy-A Study on Efficacy of Blood Pressure and Stress Control Using Mindful Meditation and Eating Apps among People with High Blood Pressure. Medicines (Basel). 2015 Oct 16;2(4):298-309. doi: 10.3390/medicines2040298. PubMed PMID: 28930213; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5456211.

    Cameron RA, Mazer BL, DeLuca JM, Mohile SG, Epstein RM. In search of compassion: a new taxonomy of compassionate physician behaviours. Health Expect.  2015 Oct;18(5):1672-85. doi: 10.1111/hex.12160. Epub 2013 Dec 4. PubMed PMID: 24305037; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4051859.


    Beretich, L., Nelson, K., Piazz, W., Hurst, C., Woolley, A., & Robin, N. (2014).Assessing speech and language outcomes of children with cochlear implants and GJB2 mutations. UAB Graduate Student Research Day, Oral Presentation, Birmingham, AL.

    Petukh M, Wu B, Stefl S, Smith N, Hyde-Volpe D, Wang L, Alexov E. Chronic Beryllium Disease: revealing the role of beryllium ion and small peptides binding to HLA-DP2. PLoS One. 2014 Nov 4;9(11):e111604. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111604. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 25369028; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4219729.

    Steck MB. The role of melanocortin 1 receptor in cutaneous malignant melanoma: along the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Biol Res Nurs. 2014 Oct;16(4):421-8. doi: 10.1177/1099800413519164. Epub 2014 Jan 16. Review. PubMed PMID: 24443365.


    He R, Eggert JA. The finger of an angel: memory return with epigenetic manipulation. Epigenomics. 2012 Jun;4(3):295-302. doi: 10.2217/epi.12.19. Review. PubMed PMID: 22690665.

    Steck MB. Concept analysis: awareness of discrimination based on genetic information. Nurs Forum. 2012 Apr-Jun;47(2):100-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6198.2012.00260.x. PubMed PMID: 22512767.

    Wharton HC. A 21-year-old white woman diagnosed with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis related to oral contraceptive and Factor V Leiden. Adv Emerg Nurs J. 2012 Jan-Mar;34(1):10-5. doi: 10.1097/TME.0b013e318243552c. PubMed PMID:22313896.

    Steck MB, Eggert JA. The need to be aware and beware of the genetic information nondiscrimination act. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2011 Jun;15(3):E34-41. doi: 10.1188/11.CJON.E34-E41. PubMed PMID: 21624856.

  • Partners

    Clemson University offers a unique college structure that lends itself to collaborative work. This new Ph.D. program in Health Care Genetics grew from well-established and strong Clemson research partnerships and collaborations. These working relationships enrich the program.


    • Greenwood Genetic Center
    • University of Iowa
    • Bon Secours St. Francis Health System
    • Clemson’s Genomic Institute
    • Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    • Clemson’s Department of Psychology
    • Clemson’s Department of Political Science
    • Clemson’s Department of Genetics and Biochemistry
    • Clemson’s College of Education
    • Clemson's Rutland Center for Ethics
    • Clemson’s LPN to Professor Program, including AnMed Health, Oconee Memorial Hospital, Palmetto Health Baptist Easley and Cannon Memorial Hospital
  • Contact

    Ellen B. Chiles, M.Ed
    Student Services Coordinator
    Office: 467 CU Nursing building
    Phone: 864-720-2052

School of Nursing
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