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Speaker Biographies

To help us explore the intersection between genetics and the law, we have assembled an outstanding group of speakers who are on the frontlines of genetics research and practical applications.

Webinar Schedule

Sarah Bazzetta, MMS, MAS, PA-C
University of Chicago, Center for Cancer Genetics

Sarah Bazzetta is a Physician Assistant working in Preventive Oncology at the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. She received her Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Midwestern University and her Master of Science in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and licensed by the Illinois Division of Professional Regulation. Ms. Bazzetta helped found the new PA program at Dominican University as the Director of Didactic Education.

Michael Caffrey, Ph.D.
UIC Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Dr. Michael Caffrey is an Associate professor in UIC’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. He earned his PhD at the University of Arizona and has done postdoctoral research at the Institut de Biologie Structurale in Grenoble, France, and at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. His laboratory is interested in studying the mechanisms of viral entry and of toxin entry into human systems. He studies viruses such as HIV, the SARS Coronavirus, Ebola and Influenza.  He will be introducing some of the basic terms of genetics and explaining the roles of RNA and DNA, the latest developments in research involving gene editing, as well as the applications of gene editing to diseases like COVID-19.

Amy Campbell, JD, MBE
Associate Dean of Law & Health Sciences and Professor of Law at UIC

Amy Campbell is the Inaugural Associate Dean for Law & Health Sciences at the John Marshall Law School at UIC. She earned her J.D. at Yale Law School and her Master’s in Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in health policy, health justice and health equity, focusing on how policy can prevent childhood and community trauma. She currently serves on the Founding Board of the International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence, and is a consultant to the Advocacy Committee, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.

Wendy Chung, M.D., Ph.D.
Columbia University

Dr. Wendy Chung is a Molecular Geneticist with Columbia University Medical Center, where she directs the clinical genetics program. She received her M.D. at Weill Cornell Medical College. Her research focuses on gene mutations and their connections to human disease and has identified over twenty-five new genes causing human disease. In 2018, Dr. Chung was the recipient of the New York Academy Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Biomedical Science. She is the featured geneticist in the Ken Burns’ PBS Documentary, “The Gene.”

Christine Drogan, MS, CGC
Certified Genetic Counselor, University of Chicago Medical Center

Christine Drogan, MS, CGC, is a Certified Genetic Counselor at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She focuses mostly on cancer genetics and prevention. She received her Masters in Genetic Counseling at the University of Pittsburgh. During that time, she worked part-time at as a Genetic Counseling Assistant in the Hereditary Gastrointestinal Tumor Program. She also mentors currently genetic counseling students.

Philip F. Giampietro, MD, Ph.D.
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Illinois at Chicago

Philip F. Giampietro, MD, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He received his B.S. in Biological Sciences at State University of New York at Stony Brook, Doctorate in Biomedical Sciences at the City University of New York, and M.D. at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. Giampietro competed his internship in Pediatrics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, residency in Pediatrics at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Fellowship in Medical Genetics at Weil Medical College of Cornell University. Throughout his career he has been active in the education of medical students, genetic counseling students, physician assistants, and pediatric residents and fellows. Dr. Giampietro is Chief of the Section of Medical Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Prior to his current position, Dr. Giampietro held positions at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Marshfield Clinic and Weil Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Giampietro's research interests include dysmorphology and birth defects, in particular the genetics of congenital and idiopathic scoliosis and arthrogryposis. He has worked closely with orthopedic surgical colleagues, clinical and molecular geneticists, and epidemiologists to better understand genetic and environmental contributions to these conditions.   

Scott MacGregor, D.O. MFM
Genetic Counselor at NorthShore University

Scott MacGregor, D.O. is a Genetic Counselor in the NorthShore University Health System and practices in high-risk obstetrics. He received his D.O. from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and did is fellowship at Northwestern University’s Prentice Women’s Hospital.

Carlos Neto, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska

Dr. Carlos Neto is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, investigating Salmonella population genetics in the Department of Food Science and Technology. He focuses in identifying unique trait that can facilitate the emergence and spread of new Salmonella clones that could cause epidemics. He received his PhD from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln before moving on to the University of Utah for a postdoctoral appointment studying the gut microbiome and central nervous system inflammation.

Dennis Paustenbach, Ph.D.
Paustenbach & Associates

Dennis J. Paustenbach, PhD, CIH, DABT, is a board-certified toxicologist and industrial hygienist and the President of Paustenbach & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in the use of risk assessment techniques to explore occupational and environmental health hazards. He received his PhD in environmental toxicology from Purdue University, and helped found the undergraduate and graduate programs in industrial hygiene at Purdue.

Mary Scollay, DVM
Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC)

Mary Scollay, DVM is the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC). She specializes in racehorse medicine. She received her DVM from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Her research focuses on racehorse medical treatment and emerging threats to horse racing integrity, including pre- and post- race drug testing. She is the former Equine Medical Director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission before joining the RMTC.

Alexander Slocum, Ph.D, M.D.
Medical College of Wisconsin

Alexander Slocum, Ph.D, M.D. is a resident in the Integrated Plastic Surgery program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He received his M.D. from the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and his PhD. In Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jesse J. Salk, M.D., Ph.D
CEO, TwinStrand Biosciences

Jesse J. Salk MD, PhD, is a research and CEO of TwinStrand Biosciences, a company that focuses of Duplex Sequencing- a DNA sequencing technique that is extremely sensitive and accurate. Dr. Salk researches how the genetic variation among normal and precancerous cells arises, and how that leads to the proliferation of precancerous cells into mature tumors. He received his PhD and MD from the University of Washington, where he also completed his residency and a fellowship.

Sarah Slocum, M.D.
Medical College of Wisconsin

Sarah Slocum, M.D. focuses her practice on psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. She received her M.D. from the Marshall University School of Medicine and has been with Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals since 2015.

Alice Zalan, MS, LCCG
Department of Pediatric Genetics, University of Illinois at Chicago

Alice Zalan received a master's degree in Genetic Counseling from the Genetic Counseling Program at Northwestern University in 2018 and was certified by the ABGC the same year. She currently works as a Pediatric Genetic Counselor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, providing comprehensive care and genetic counseling to individuals and families affected by pediatric, adult onset, and cardiac conditions. She is closely involved with the Illinois Newborn Screening program through clinic and patient follow up. She is currently a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the Illinois Society of Genetic Professionals and serves as a clinical supervisor for genetic counseling graduate students.

Webinar Schedule

Johnson and Bell

Johnson and Bell