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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Genetics Chief Named to National Panel on Pediatric Genetic Diseases

Gerard Vockley, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Medical Genetics  at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, has been appointed a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders and Genetic Diseases in Newborns and Children (ACHDGDNC).

The Advisory Committee was formed in 2003 to counsel the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding the most appropriate application of universal newborn screening tests, technologies, policies and standards for effectively reducing morbidity and mortality in newborns and children having heritable disorders. Dr. Vockley has also been named chair of ACHDGDNCs’ Laboratory Standards and Procedures Subcommittee.

Dr. Vockley is an internationally recognized leader in medical genetics and the field of inborn errors of metabolism. Research led by Dr. Vockley has identified and characterized the molecular basis of seven new inborn errors of metabolism in the past seven years. He has been awarded continuous National Institutes of Health (NIH) RO1 funding since his earliest days as an independent investigator.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to advise the Secretary as a member of this committee,” said Dr. Vockley. “Not only is it a testament to the work being done here at Children’s in the field of genetics, it will allow me to share knowledge and ideas with some of the best geneticists in the country.”

Routine newborn screening is a simple blood test that can detect disorders that are not immediately apparent after delivery. Some of these disorders are genetic, metabolic, blood- or hormone-related. Each state in the United States requires screening tests, but the specific tests performed vary among the states. Some disorders are more common in some states, making testing more important.

The Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders and Genetic Diseases in Newborns and Children assists the Secretary of Health and Human Services, specifically by providing:

  • Advice and recommendations concerning the grants and projects authorized under the Heritable Disorders Program
  • Technical information to develop policies and priorities for this program that will enhance the ability of state and local health agencies to provide for newborn and child screening, counseling and health care services for newborns and children having or at risk for heritable disorders
  • Recommendations, advice or information that may be necessary to enhance, expand or improve the ability of the Secretary to reduce the mortality or morbidity in newborns and children from heritable disorders.

Learn more about Children’s Division of Medical Genetics.



Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016,
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016,

Last Update
February 11, 2008
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Last Update
February 11, 2008