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Tatiana Foroud named new chair of IU Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics


INDIANAPOLIS — Tatiana Foroud, Ph.D., an internationally recognized genetic researcher who holds several leadership positions at the Indiana University School of Medicine, has been selected to be chair of the school’s Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics.

Dr. Foroud, who joined the IU School of Medicine faculty in 1994, was named the P. Michael Conneally Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics in 2005. She is director of the department’s Hereditary Genomics Division and is scientific director of the Indiana Biobank, a primary biospecimen resource at Indiana University. She also leads the Genetics, Biomarker and Bioinformatics core, a recent addition to the NIH-funded Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center.

Along with departmental colleague Gail Vance, M.D., Dr. Foroud has been serving as interim chair of the department since former chair Kenneth Cornetta, M.D., stepped down last year to begin a fellowship in palliative care.

“The genomics revolution has created unprecedented opportunities for researchers in many fields, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience and more, to discover the genetic underpinnings to disease risk. This has resulted in the new field of precision medicine, which uses our new knowledge about genetics to create a personalized treatment approach for each patient,” Dr. Foroud said.

“The Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics will play an important role in the efforts of Indiana University School of Medicine to implement new programs in precision medicine and thereby provide the most innovative and highest quality care to our patients,” she said.

“Dr. Foroud and her colleagues see into the future of what’s possible,” said Dr. Jay Hess, vice president for university clinical affairs and dean of the IU School of Medicine. “We’re excited to see what new developments emerge under her leadership that will empower patients, their families and even our communities to confront some of our most debilitating diseases.”

Dr. Foroud’s research focuses on the identification of genes contributing to disease, including neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, intracranial aneurysms, alcohol dependence and cancer.

An IUPUI Chancellor’s Professor, an adjunct professor of psychiatry and a member of the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, Dr. Foroud holds a doctorate in population genetics from the IU School of Medicine, a master’s in biomathematics from the University of California-Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree in biology and mathematics from Fairfield University in Connecticut.

Founded in 1966, the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics is one of the oldest medical genetics departments in the country. It is a combined basic science and clinical service department with four complementary divisions: Clinical and Biochemical Genetics, Diagnostic Genomics, Hereditary Genomics, and Molecular Genetics and Gene Therapy. These research divisions have an active graduate program conferring M.S., Ph.D. and M.D. /Ph.D. degrees.