Program Leadership

Jessica Rispoli Joines, MGC, CGC

Director

Joines Jessica2Jessica Rispoli Joines is a board certified genetic counselor and is the Director of the Genetic Counseling Master's Program at Rutgers University. Ms. Joines received her Master's in Genetic Counseling from the University of Maryland. Before coming to Rutgers, Ms. Joines served as the Assistant Program Director at the University of Maryland for over ten years. She has over 15 years of clinical experience providing genetic counseling in oncology, pediatric, and neurology clinics.

Read more: Jessica Rispoli Joines, MGC, CGC

Christine Seymour, MS, CGC

Assistant Program Director

HeadshotChristine P. Seymour is a board certified genetic counselor and is the Assistant Director of the Genetic Counseling Master's Program at Rutgers University. Christy received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Scranton, followed by her master's degree in genetic counseling at Arcadia University. Before joining the leadership at Rutgers, she had over 15 years of clinical experience providing genetic counseling in prenatal and pediatric clinics as well as the industry setting.

Read more: Christine Seymour, MS, CGC

Gary Heiman, PhD

Director of Student Research

Dr. Gary Heiman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics at Rutgers University where he serves as the Vice Chair and Undergraduate Director. He received a master’s in Genetic Counseling and subsequently earned his Ph.D. in epidemiology from Columbia University, specializing in genetic epidemiology of neuropsychiatric disorders.

His research program focuses on understanding the relationship between neurological and psychiatric disorders. Dr. Heiman and others established the Tourette International Collaborative Genetics (TIC Genetics) study, a sharing resource of clinical, biomaterial, and genetic data of individuals with Tourette and their family members. The goal of this international study is to identify genetic (inherited) factors that play a role in causing TD and comorbid disorders such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. TIC Genetics brings together a team of clinicians, geneticists, and statistical geneticists from 24 sites across the US, Europe, and South Korea and is now the largest sharing cell and DNA repository for Tourette disorder (TD). Dr. Heiman serves on the TIC Genetics Executive Committee, heads the Data Coordinating Center, and the principal investigator at the Rutgers recruitment site.

Read more: Gary Heiman, PhD

Elena Ashkinadze, MS, LGC

Ashkinadze ElenaMs. Ashkinadze is a licensed and board certified genetic counselor who specializes in reproductive genetics. She received her genetic counseling degree from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the senior genetic counselor in her department and has been supervising genetic counseling students for over 15 years. In addition to her clinical work, Ms. Ashkinadze has played an active role in state-wide professional issues. She is the course director of the Foundations of Genetic Counseling: Reproductive Genetics course and serves on various GCMP committees.

Christina Botti, MS, LGC

Botti christinaChristina Botti is a licensed and board certified genetic counselor. She received her undergraduate degree in biotechnology at Rochester Institute of Technology followed by her master's degree in genetic counseling at Arcadia University. She currently serves at Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Pediatrics and Clinical Instructor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Read more: Christina Botti, MS, LGC

Sherry Grumet, MA, MS, LGC

Sherry GrumetSherry Grumet is a licensed, board-certified genetic counselor working as the Director of the LIFE Center at The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. She received a B.S. in Cell Biology and Anthropology from the University of Illinois, a M.A. in Human Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, and a M.S. in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling from Sarah Lawrence College. After graduation, Mrs. Grumet worked as a genetic counselor at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine at Englewood Hospital and Monmouth Medical Center. She has over 20 years of clinical experience in cancer risk assessment and genetic counseling.