2005-2006

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What is DNA? An answer to Genetics Jeopardy. Keith Jensen plays Alex Trebek with Latasha Redmond as part of Questors. Questors, a Saturday morning program sponsored by the Math-Science Center in Richmond, expose advanced high school students to state-of-the-art science and math.

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Participants of the First International Mosaic Down Syndrome Conference hosted by VCU in June 2004. The focus of the conference is for families to gain more knowledge of Mosaic Down Syndrome. The graduate students in the department provide educational and interactive sessions for the Mosaic Down Syndrome children attending the conference.

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Graduate students Veronica Kirkland, Anne Walters, Elizabeth Starkey, Karina Seidl and Amy Hawkins travel to Washington, D.C., and attend the 2004 National Society of Genetic Counselor meeting.

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Latasha Redmond, a student representative in fall 2005, takes a break from her benchwork in the student computer room to socialize with other students.

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On Aug. 29, 2004, the remnants of Hurricane Gaston swept through Central Virginia, creating heavy flooding in many parts of Richmond and the surrounding counties. Many people were stranded downtown including those who worked at VCU Medical Center. The water did not recede for days after the flood especially in the hardest hit area of Shockoe Bottom, which includes the parking lot next to the train station. The city of Richmond estimates Gaston cost $7.9 million in damages.

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Kara Thomas prepares cells for karyotype analysis with the help of Carol Wignall, a cytogenetic technologist. First year genetic counseling students rotate through a variety of laboratories including cytogenetics to expose them to methods used in diagnostic genetic testing.

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Paulie Papavassiliou shows Questors students how to prepare a karyotype. A karyotype is the pictoral representation of all the chromosomes in a cell. A picture of the chromosomes in a cell is taken and the chromosomes are cut out of the picture and aligned in pairs. Any chromosome abnormalities can be revealed by this type of analysis. Graduate students run the Human Genetics Questors unit.

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While traveling in Florence, Italy, in 2004, Dr. Rita Shiang and her husband, Andy Nishida met Brett Wayman Makuta, an alumna of VCU (M.S. Genetic Counseling, 2000), traveling with her husband Tim, who previously worked in the department as a research technician. From left, Tim Makuta, Andy Nishida, Rita Shiang and Brett Wayman Makuta.