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Career Spotlight: Cynthia Casson Morton

Director of Cytogenetics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; William Lambert Richardson Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology and Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School; Editor, The American Journal of Human Genetics

 

Academic Researcher:

 

Job Title:

School; Editor, The American Journal of Human Genetics Director of Cytogenetics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; William Lambert Richardson Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology and Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School

 

Basic Job Description:

To provide state-of-the-art cytogenetic services, to perform basic research in human genetics and to serve the American Society of Human Genetics and greater scientific community through promoting the highest standards of scientific publishing.

 

Type of Education/Training Required:

Ph.D. in Human Genetics, Post-doctoral research fellowship, ABMG certification
 

Special Talents or Skills that Contribute to Career:

Internal drive for perfection, honesty and fairness and willingness to work hard to achieve goals
 

Salary:

I believe the starting salary in Boston would be in the range of 85K+ for a Ph.D. who is both ABMG certified in Clinical Cytogenetics and has the capacity to bring in extramural research support. The full Professor range can be over the current NIH cap.
 

What is your educational background?

B.S. in Biology, Ph.D. in Human Genetics, Post-doc in Molecular Genetics, ABMG certification in Clinical Cytogenetics, Ph.D. Medical Genetics and Molecular Genetics
 

Why did you choose this career?

I have been fascinated with genetics since I was in middle school and wrote a term paper on twins.
 

What steps did you take to obtain your current position?

Rigorous scientific training as a graduate student and post-doctoral fellow combined with a tireless work ethic.
 

What suggestions do you have for others who would like to break into this field/profession?

Be prepared to work nights and weekends as this is a labor intensive endeavor.

 

What is involved in a typical workday?

Lots of meetings supervising technicians, students, and post-docs in addition to other administrative meetings; lots of time at the computer answering e-mails and writing papers and grants; providing diagnostic cytogenetic services; editorial responsibilities for The American Journal of Human Genetics; relishing the privilege of being a scientist and especially a human geneticist!
 

How does your current position compare to working in other settings, like academia or industry?

As an academician I am pretty free to pursue my own research interests, and I believe that this freedom has been essential to my daily happiness and job satisfaction.

 

August 2006

 

The American Society of Human Genetics, Incorporated

9650 Rockville Pike Bethesda, Maryland 20814

society@ashg.org 1-866-HUM-GENE (301) 634-7300

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