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Human and Molecular Genetics

The Department of Human and Molecular Genetics was formally established in 2007 in the new FIU College of Medicine.

Vision & Goals

Vision: To become a department consisting of faculty having international reputations for scholarship and education in human genetics.

Mission: Establish a department that elucidates genetic etiology of human disease, translate this knowledge into improved health care through early detection and treatment.

The mission will be accomplished by:

  • Creating a supportive environment that impels excellence
  • Recruiting and retaining accomplished investigators of proven competitive research
  • Developing state-of-the-art core facilities for FIU investigators
  • Facilitating and encouraging national and international collaborative initiatives
  • Mentoring faculty members and trainees for academic excellence
  • Educating medical students to think genetically
  • Serving as a bridge department between basic science and clinical departments

Message from the Chair

The Department of Human and Molecular Genetics pursues both basic and translational research. Genetic processes underlie development and evolution throughout the animal kingdom. Perturbations of these processes are responsible for many of human diseases and illnesses. Elucidation can lead to preventive strategies and treatment, long-term goals of our Department and those of other geneticists. Several areas of research emphasis have been defined and will be strengthened.

1) Reproduction, including identification of genes directing normal sexual development. When perturbed, those genes adversely affect fertility and structural development. Animal models (transgenic mice) are utilized to pin point precisely the functional effects and discern that portion of the gene primarily responsible. Systematic studies are underway in ovarian failure and uterine abnormalities in humans. Diagnostic applications are anticipated.

2) The mechanisms of human numerical and structural chromosomal abnormalities are sought, with emphasis of processes disturbing recombination. The major collaborations involve the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, with whom we seek to develop nanoscale biosensors to identify toxicants exerting DNA damage.

3) Population migration is traced through mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers.

4) In collaboration with other institutions the clinical advances in prenatal genetic diagnosis are studied. Definitive noninvasive prenatal genetic diagnosis is pursued through recovery of fetal DNA (cell-free and intact nuclei).

As a bridging department between basic and clinical sciences, Human and Molecular Genetics plays pivotal roles in both arenas and collaborates widely.

Jeff Boyd, PhD
Chair and Professor


Florida International University
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Human and Molecular Genetics
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199

Tel: 305-348-0570
Fax: 305-348-0123

Community-Based Faculty

Dimitrios Ioannou, PhD
Assistant Professor

Anver Kuliev, MD

Jessica L. Ordonez

Svetlana Rechitsky, PhD
Associate Professor