Hereditary Cancer Program

The Clinical and Translational Hereditary Cancer Program encompasses research, clinical, and educational efforts to generate and translate new insights in hereditary cancer genetics into clinical care. The Program is directed by Dr. Georgia Wiesner and includes physicians, nurse practitioners, and genetic counselors with expertise in hereditary cancer.

The Hereditary Cancer Clinic is the clinical arm of the program, offering comprehensive genetic evaluation, counseling, and testing for patients who are worried about their cancer risk based on their family or personal history.

About the Program Leader:

Georgia Wiesner

Georgia Wiesner, M.D., M.S.​

Dr. Georgia L. Wiesner is an Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Genetic Medicine and the Director of the new Clinical and Translational Hereditary Cancer Program for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. As one of the few physicians in the country with dual certification in Internal Medicine and Medical Genetics, Dr. Wiesner has devoted her career to understanding the factors that cause cancer susceptibility. Since joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 2012, she has established a comprehensive Hereditary Cancer Clinic and research program for patients and family members who are prone to develop cancer.

Dr. Wiesner has a long-standing research interest in hereditary cancer susceptibility mainly focused on colon cancer and is also studying how genetic tests are used in clinical medicine as well as various ethical, legal and social aspects of genomic medicine. She has established the framework for a Hereditary Cancer Registry that will allow for the entry of clinical information, genetic testing and research testing on patients and their family members. In the future, the registry will also develop a new cancer risk prediction program that will exploit efforts in electronic family history taking and related strategies in personalized medicine. This approach will help to identify Vanderbilt patients at higher cancer risk, so that these patients can be informed about the appropriate screening and other treatment options. In addition, Dr. Wiesner has established VICC as a research site along with Dana Farber in a pilot multi-centered study of lung cancer.

Dr. Wiesner is a current member of the Genetic/Familial High Risk Assessment, Breast & Ovarian Panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) that provides expert opinion in formulating guidelines for care of patient and families with heritable cancer syndromes and the Consent and Data Access Working Group for the ICGC. Her previous service includes the Editor-in-Chief of the Cancer Genetics PDQ Editorial Board at the National Cancer Institute from 2001-2005, and the Board of Directors for the American Society of Human Genetics, a past-President of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Medical Genetics and past-Chair the Residency Review Committee for Medical Genetics (ACGME).

Prior to establishing her research programs at Vanderbilt, Dr. Wiesner served in several leadership capacities at Case-Western Reserve University (CWRU) and University Hospitals of Cleveland. She was the Director of the Center for Human Genetics from 2000-2008, Medical Director of the Clinical Cancer Genetics program from 1995 to 2012, and founded the first specialized clinic for delivery of genetic services to patients and families with hereditary cancer susceptibility in Northeastern Ohio.

Program Members

  • Georgia L Wiesner, M.D., M.S.
    Director, Clinical and Translational Hereditary Cancer Program
  • Jonathan A Holt, D.O., M.S.
    Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medicine, 
Cancer Geneticist
  • Kate McReynolds, APRN, MSc, MSN, ANP-BC
    Assistant in Medicine, Genetic Nurse Practitioner
  • Sara K Lewis, MS, LCGC
    Assistant in Medicine, Genetic Counselor
  • Kelly A Taylor, MS, LCGC, CCRP
    Assistant in Medicine, Genetic Counselor
  • Sarah P Rutherford, M.S.
    Assistant in Medicine, Genetic Counselor

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