in the School of Health Professions
For each course, students participate in a combination of classroom lectures, laboratory demonstrations, and hands-on technical experience. Because MD Anderson is one of the largest cancer centers in the world, many special areas of instruction can be presented, such as Spectral Karyotyping, home-brew FISH probe making and comparative genomic hybridization through aCGH.
The School of Health Professions has designed a program to prepare the student for a challenging and exciting career as a cytogenetic technologist.
The program offers two tracks with multiple enrollment options leading to the Bachelor of Science degree.
*Students selecting part-time enrollment will complete their degree beyond the designated length of time, depending on course selections each semester.
Visit the program on the campus of MD Anderson during one of the program information sessions.
Automated chromosome harvesting in action
Learning Spectrum Karyotyping (SKY) imaging analysis
Automated Cytogenetic image scanning for digital karyotyping/FISH analysis
Cytogenetic digital imaging analysis laboratory instruction session
Learning specimen processing, tissue culturing, and slide dropping for Cytogenetic analysis in training laboratory
Clinical rotation at a training facility
Jun Gu, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Program Director
Ming Zhao, M.D.
The Cytogenetic Technology program is accredited by and has conformed its curriculum to the standards published and monitored by the:
National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS
5600 N. River Rd., Ste. 720
Rosemont, IL 60018-5119
The program has developed affiliations with reference labs and medical institutions across the United States, so that students will develop expertise in a variety of settings and experience the breadth of opportunity available to a certified cytogenetic technologist. During the clinical phase of instruction, training and supervision are provided in affiliated clinical laboratories.
Clinical cytogenetics is the specialty that studies cell division and the structure of chromosomes as applied to the diagnosis and monitoring of acquired and inherited abnormalities.
The most widely recognized use of cytogenetics is the study of inherited disorders through prenatal diagnosis by amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling or postnatal diagnosis by peripheral blood studies. Cytogenetic technology is also used in the study of acquired chromosomal abnormalities present in various forms of cancer.
In recent years the Human Genome Project has greatly affected genetic testing at all levels. The discovery of new genes and the identification of the DNA sequence and location of diagnostically relevant genes have lead to the development of the new field of molecular cytogenetics.
It is now widely accepted that most human disease is caused in part by a genetic defect. Identification of these genetic abnormalities has become an essential part in the medical treatment of patients in many specialty institutions across the country.
The primary responsibility of the clinical cytogenetic technologist is the analysis and karyotyping of human chromosome preparations. The clinical genetics technologist must be able to perform all aspects of the cytogenetic procedure. Cytogenetics requires a basic understanding of cell culture and the cell growth cycle, the biochemistry of staining procedures, microscopy, computer imaging and new techniques in molecular cytogenetics.
As a member of the health care team, a cytogenetic technologist uses a strong background in the sciences to do cytogenetic analysis, a crucial step in the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and follow-up of genetic disorders. Cytogenetic results may also indicate that genetic counseling is required for family members other than the patient.
According to the salary survey conducted by the Department of Academic Affairs at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the average starting salary for a staff cytogenetic technologist is $45,000 to $55,000.
|Year||Graduation Rate||Placement Rate^||Pass Rate*|
^ Indicates employed or pursued additional education.
* The NAACLS certification exam benchmark standard for accredited programs is three years of consecutive results demonstrating an average of at least a 75% pass rate on the ASCP-BOC examinations, for students within the first year of graduation as calculated from the most recent three-year period. ().