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The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) sponsors the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Medical Genetics Training Program that offers two-year fellowships for M.D.s and Ph.D.s in cytogenetics, biochemical genetics and molecular genetics.


This program provides participants the opportunity to conduct genetics research in some of the world's most advanced laboratories, gain clinical experience in the Washington, D.C. area and develop expertise in basic and clinical genetics research and diagnostics.

Eligibility has been established by the American Board of Medical Genetics (ABMG). For training in each subspecialty, ABMG requires an M.D. or Ph.D. degree earned from a U.S. university or equivalent education with prior ABMG approval.


Fellows spend 18 months of the program at a laboratory of their choice. Six months clinical experience is also required. Fellows see patients in various National Institutes of Health (NIH) centers and in hospitals and outpatient clinics throughout metropolitan Washington, D.C.

View the list of fellowship faculty and mentors.

Throughout the program, trainees attend a number of lecture courses, including: Introduction to Medical Genetics; Developmental Biology and Human Malformations; Inborn Errors of Metabolism; and Current Concepts in Clinical Molecular Genetics and Molecular Diagnostics. Attendance is also required at the weekly Clinical Genetics Case Conference and at the bi-weekly Cytogenetics/Molecular Genetics Sign-Out Conference. Many students choose to attend the Short Course in Medical and Experimental Mammalian Genetics at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine during the month of July.

Upon completion of the program, trainees will qualify for board certification by the American Board of Medical Genetics (ABMG) in one or more areas of expertise: Clinical Biochemical Genetics, Clinical Cytogenetics.

The program involves the following training sites:

National Institutes of Health Clinical Center
The Children's National Medical Center and Research Institute
Washington Hospital Center
Walter Reed Army Medical Center


The Medical Genetics Laboratory Fellowship program is a highly competitive, two year program leading to ABMG certification, with only a few positions available in each subspecialty per year.

The Clinical Molecular Genetics, Clinical Biochemical Genetics and Clinical Cytogenetics Fellowship programs are not funded for salaries. All candidates for these programs must come with a full time position in a relevant laboratory either at NIH or at one of our affiliated laboratories. You cannot be a volunteer (self-supported) fellow. Having found such a position does not guarantee interview or admission to the program. Most fellows start their training in July, but there is some flexibility.

Individuals should send:

  • A letter of interest
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of reference (including one from your lab director)
  • Transcript and evidence of passing TOEFL, if applicable
  • Graduates of foreign schools must also complete Credentials Verification Form and send to ABMG.

Molecular and cytogenetics candidates must also have a letter of support from the laboratory director employing the fellow, with explicit permission to fully participate in all aspects of the program. Full participation includes weekly classes and meetings, as well as full-time rotations to other laboratories outside of the laboratory of employment for at least nine months.

Applicants should submit materials 12 to 18 months prior to the proposed start date. Competitive candidates will be invited to interview at the NIH. Successful applicants will be notified within six weeks of their interview.

Send these items to:

Suzanne Hart, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellowship
National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institutes of Health
Email:  shart@mail.nih.gov


Robert Hufnagel, M.D., Ph.D.
Program Director
Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellowship
Email: robert.hufnagel@nih.gov

Suzanne Hart, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellowship
Email: shart@mail.nih.gov

Last updated: August 9, 2022