Posted by & filed under CCTV's THE VIBRANT GENE talk show.

How does a person or couple decide to have a baby?  If you’re like most people, you might feel a little overwhelmed by the topic and think it is easier to, “Just let nature take its course.”  But we interviewed one of the Nation’s leading experts on making this important decision…and that’s NOT what she recommends!  The truth is you don’t have to make this decision on your own, totally alone.
 “Think about what hasn’t happened in your life that needs to happen.” – Merle Bombardieri
Join us to learn key tools to answering this age-old question on your own terms.  Learn why Merle Bombardieri, the author of The Baby Decision Book, believes it’s best to make a conscious decision about parenthood.  Other questions we ask Merle include: How long is too long to deliberate? Should a young, working women consider getting their eggs cryogenically frozen for future use?  What are some tips and exercises that Merle uses with clients to help them decide?
Tune in to find out how you can win a copy of Merle’s outstanding book!

Next on THE VIBRANT GENE:
Join us for part 2 – when we ask a child-free man, a mother, and a millennial about their experiences with this life-changing decision.  How did they make this huge choice?  What advice does Merle have for them?  Tune in to find out!
About Our guest
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Photo: Sharona Photography

 

Merle (Malkoff) Bombardieri, is a clinical social worker/psychotherapist who specializes in parenthood decision-making, infertility, adoption, and making the most of a childfree life. Although she enjoyed raising her daughters, now grown, she has also been an advocate for childfree people since 1979. She has been in private practice for 30+ years in Lexington, MA. In 1981, she published the first edition of The Baby Decision based on interviews and reviews of scholarly research. Then in 1982 she became Clinical Director of RESOLVE, the national infertility association. There she wrote guidelines for infertility patients who were making decisions on new techniques such as in vitro fertilization and donor egg, as well as adoption and surrogacy. Around that time, she founded the support group Boston Single Mothers by Choice.

This revised second edition of The Baby Decision, is based on 35 more years of work guiding decision-makers in educational workshops, long-distance coaching for people around the world and psychotherapy. Merle brings a sense of humor and compassion to her work. She helps clients and readers get curious about themselves and about making new discoveries that make life more fun.

Merle’s writing has appeared in Our Bodies Ourselves, Brides, Glamour, Self, the Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Magazine and psychology blogs. She has lectured at Harvard Medical School, M.I.T., Wellesley College, and the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. She has appeared on national radio and television news shows, talk shows and documentaries, including the Leeza Show. Merle has been quoted in Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Huffington Post. She has also written medical journal articles and a chapter in a medical textbook.

Merle is married and the mother of two grown daughters and the grandmother of a two-year-old boy. She enjoys creative writing, yoga, hiking, and travel.  She is working on a novel, Don’t Ask, about two sisters and a surrogate pregnancy.

 

About Our Producer/Host

 

Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is dedicated to taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellbeing for her clients. She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships.

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To order your copy of The Baby Decision, click here.

 

Special Thanks To Sam Bruce, editor extraordinaire

 

For Private Genetic Counseling, visit our website at www.vibrantgene.com.  We are also reachable via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617) 433-7874.

Posted by & filed under CCTV's THE VIBRANT GENE talk show, Rare Disease.

Imagine being 12 years old.  You are perfectly healthy, leading a normal life.  One morning you wake up temporarily blind.  Today we will hear personal accounts what it is like to have Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) and what is being done to combat the rare disease.  What is the best treatment?  Is genetic testing available?  What is being done to combat this devastating autoimmune disease?  Find out from our expert guests.

 

 

About Our Guests:

 

Sumaitra
Sumaira Ahmed is the founder of The Sumaira Foundation for NMO, a nonprofit geared towards raising awareness of Neuromyelitis Optica while fundraising for research to find a cure.  Sumaira was diagnosed with sero-negative Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD) in the summer of 2014. While undergoing aggressive chemotherapy the next year, she became the 1st-ever Miss Bangladesh-USA. Her social platform was the importance of education and its correlation to tolerance and a prosperous future for Bangladesh. Sumaira graduated from Boston University College of Communication with a bachelors degree in public relations. She also studied film acting at the acclaimed KNK Acting Institute in Mumbai, India. Sumaira has acted in numerous projects including Hindi and Bengali music videos, a documentary, and voice over projects. In 2012, she starred as the female lead in an English-language independent film titled, “Humble River.”  She is the former Director of Network Development at Boston Laser / Boston Eye Group and is now the Marketing & Business Development Manager at STRATUS Center for Medical Simulation at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Sumaira created a personal blog, “Flower: The Converted Bostonian,” a lifestyle blog about fine wining and dining, travel, dating & romance, and eventually chronicled her health journey.
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In 2014, Gabriela Romanow’s then 20-year-old son was diagnosed with NMO.  She refocused her professional endeavors to helping raise money to find a cure for this potentially crippling disease.  Throughout her career, Gabriela has focused on raising awareness of, and money for issues which are important to her.  She spent a dozen years at ACCION International, a non-profit organization providing small loans to the self-employed poor throughout the Americas, where Gabriela worked in Communications and Development.  Gabriela was the president of the Brookline Library Foundation which raised over $4 million to restore and renovate Brookline’s Public Librar and served for a decade as trustee of Brookline’s library system.  After her time with the library, Gabriela worked on environmental issues:  as fundraiser for the public radio program ‘Living on Earth’, and as a partner of Double Exposure, Photographing Climate Change, which produced a museum exhibit that traveled the country for four years.  In addition to her professional endeavors, Gabriela serves on the boards of the Lenny Zakim Fund, the Cambridge Homes and 1010 Memorial Drive.  She currently lives in Cambridge with her husband Bob, and is the proud mother of Jake and Max Romanow.

 

 

About Our Producer/Host:

 

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Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellbeing for her clients. She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships.

Our Show was Made Possible by:

Hayley Green (assistant producer), Ya Gao (editor) and Sherry Wang (CCTV technical production).

For Private Genetic Counseling, visit our website at www.vibrantgene.com.  We are also reachable via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617) 433-7874.

Posted by & filed under CCTV's THE VIBRANT GENE talk show, Genetics as Preventative Care.

Imagine playing a card game with a deck of cards that you’re unable to change. If your deck is great then the game is easy and fun! If your deck is less desirable then you may struggle a bit in the game, always looking for a leg up. Until recently your genetic makeup was believed to be the blueprint of your future health – your unchangeable deck of cards, if you will. For better or worse, you inherited the deck which your parents dealt you.  But recent studies indicate otherwise.  You may have much more control of your genetic health than you ever realized.  The NY Times Bestseller, SUPER GENES, is revolutionizing how we think about inheritance and provides you with tips to optimize your genetic health.

 

In this upcoming episode of the VIBRANT GENE, we ask pertinent questions of our esteemed guest, Dr. Rudy Tanzi. Tune in to learn about:

What can we do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?  Does the body really require 8 hours of sleep?  If so, why?  How can we improve our health and live long vibrant lives?  Why is it important to do things that you love and to be creative?

 

 

Shows air on Wednesdays on Cambridge Channel 9, and are available on our YouTube Channel.  Don’t forget to subscribe to catch them early!

 

About Our Guest:

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Dr. Rudolph Tanzi is the Vice-Chair of Neurology and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, and serves as the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tanzi received his B.S. (microbiology) and B.A. (history) at the University of Rochester in 1980 and his Ph.D. (neurobiology) at Harvard Medical School in 1990. In his research achievements, Dr. Tanzi served on the team that was the first to find a disease gene (Huntington’s disease) using human genetic markers, helping to launch the field of neurogenetics. He later co-discovered all three early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease genes and identified several others as leader of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Alzheimer’s Genome Project. He also co-discovered the Wilson’s disease gene and several other neurological disease genes. Most recently, he and his team used Alzheimer’s genes and human stem cells to create what the New York Times coined, “Alzheimer’s-in-a-Dish”. This is a three-dimensional human stem cell-derived neural culture system that is considered to be the first true model of Alzheimer’s disease, recapitulating both pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease: plaques and tangles. The model has made drug screening for Alzheimer’s disease 10 times cheaper and 10 times faster. Dr. Tanzi has developed novel therapeutics for AD including gamma secretase modulators and metal chaperones (PBT; Prana) aimed at lowering plaque and tangle pathology. Both have been entered into clinical trials for Alzheimer’s patients. Dr. Tanzi has published over 500 research papers and has received the highest awards in his field, including the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award, Potamkin Prize, Ronald Reagan Award, Silver Innovator Award, and many others. He was named to TIME magazine’s 2015 list of TIME100 Most Influential People in the World, and received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award, the top national award for invention and innovation.  Not only that, but in his spare time, has played keyboards with the band Aerosmith.

 

About Our Host:

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Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellbeing for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional tests fail.

Our Show was Made Possible by these amazing people:

Assistant Producers:  Hayley Green (production), Ya Gao (editing), Dheandra Jack (marketing) and Sherry Wang (CCTV production).

 

 

For a Private Genetic Consultation, contact us via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617) 433-7874.

 

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Huntington Disease (HD) is a genetic disorder that affects over 30,000 people in the United States. It is a progressive neurological condition that typically strikes people in the prime of their lives. Huntington disease has been equated to having Lou Gherig, Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases— all simultaneously.

 

But hope is rising.  Families can get genetic counseling and genetic testing.  Advocacy groups are making good strides getting resources.  And an innovative drug trial is currently underway.

 

 

In this epsiode of the VIBRANT GENE, we will ask pertinent questions of our esteemed guest, Lauren Lichten, a genetic counselor specialized in Huntington disease care. Tune in to find out:

What is Huntington disease?  How can genetic counseling benefit individuals who may have the disease and their family members? What genetic tests are available?  To date, which clinical trial shows the most promise of a cure?  How are advocacy groups helping?

 

Join Lauren and other stakeholders at Golf for a Cure, on 9/13/16 at Blackstone National Golf Course in Sutton, MA!  This golf tournament will benefit the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), and help find treatments and a cure.  Get a hole-in-one, win a brand new Mercedes Benz!

 

About Our Guest:

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Lauren Lichten, M.S., LCGC, is a faculty member at the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling Program at Boston University School of Medicine.  She has experience providing genetic counseling in Pediatrics, Maternal Fetal Medicine, and Neurology. Lauren is involved with the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) and gives talks to families about genetic testing for Huntington disease. She is part of the planning committee for Golf for a Cure, which is a golf tournament on 9/13/16 at Blackstone National Golf Course in Sutton, MA to benefit the HDSA.

 

About Our Show’s Producer and Host:

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Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellbeing for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional tests fail.

 

Our Show was Made Possible by:

Hayley Green (assistant producer), Ya Gao (editor) and Sherry Wang (CCTV technical production).

For Private Genetic Counseling contact us via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617) 433-7874.

 

 

Posted by & filed under CCTV's THE VIBRANT GENE talk show, Genetics as Preventative Care, Prenatal Genetic Testing, Rare Disease, Vibrant Gene.

As a genetic counselor who focuses on preventative care, I am asked regularly about autism.  What causes autism?  How can I get screened for autism?  Am I at risk of having a baby with autism?  Autism is considered a complex condition, with a myriad of possible risk factors.  However, there is one exception; the most common form of heritable autism is caused by an error found in a single gene.

 

In this epsiode of the VIBRANT GENE, we will ask pertinent questions of our esteemed guest, Katie Clapp, the co-founder of FRAXA. Tune in to find out:

What is Fragile X syndrome?  Should this condition be screened for in newborns?  What research is FRAXA funding?  How close are researchers to finding treatments and/or a cure for autism?  Can current research help people who have Fragile X or autism?

 

 

About Our Guest:

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Katie Clapp, MS, is the President and Co-Founder of FRAXA.  In 1994, after her son Andy was diagnosed with Fragile X, Katie, her husband Michael Tranfaglia, and a third parent, Kathy May, founded FRAXA. Katie has a BA in History from Harvard and a Masters degree in Computer Science from UNC Chapel Hill. She worked as a software engineer and instructor in computer science before FRAXA. She has won some prizes for her work with FRAXA, including an American Red Cross Community Hero award and a Women of Justice award from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

 

About Our Show’s Producer and Host:

Pro Pic 2015

Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellbeing for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional tests fail.

 

This show is dedicated to Leo, Olga and to other families who have children with Fragile X.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for inspiring this show.

 

Our Show was Made Possible by:

Hayley Green (assistant producer), Ya Gao (editor) and Sherry Wang (CCTV technical production).

For Private Genetic Counseling about autism, contact us via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617) 433-7874.

 

Posted by & filed under Complementary Medicine.

This is the most personal episode of the Vibrant Gene yet. As your host, I want to share my personal story of how I recovered from years of debilitating back pain naturally, without any surgical intervention.

This episode is dedicated to the wonder that is CranioSacral therapy. Our guest, Jeff Goldman, calmly walks us through the modality, and cues us in to the history and what conditions it is most effective.

To your health!

 

 

This show aired live on Wednesday, June 8th at 6:30 pm, on CCTV (Cambridge Channel 9).

About Our Guest:

Jeff Goldman pro pic 

Jeff Goldman is the co-owner of Newton Physical Therapy in Newton, Massachusetts.  Jeff is a 1994 graduate of Northwestern University Masters Physical Therapy Program.  He devoted over a decade of his career to providing care in Norwood, MA.  Jeff is specialized in sports-related injuries and is well-versed in providing holistic care to patients.  Newton Physical Therapy is a private physical therapy practice that specializes in manual therapies including CranioSacral therapy.

 

 

About the Producer and Host:

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Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellbeing for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional tests fail.

 

Our Show was Made Possible by these wonderful people:

Assistant Producers:  Hayley Green, Lauren Hogan, and Ya Gao (chief editor).

 

For Private Genetic Counseling, contact us via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617) 433-7874.

 

Posted by & filed under CCTV's THE VIBRANT GENE talk show, Genetics as Preventative Care.

Can new developments in molecular genetics help eradicate neglected tropical diseases?  What are neglected tropical diseases?  What countries are most affected?  What can be done?

 

One of the most exciting developments in the history of humankind is taking place now in the area of neglected tropical disease. Yet, practically nobody knows about this inspiring story!  Why isn’t this story featured in mainstream news?  We’re not sure, but you can catch it on the Vibrant Gene Talk Show.

In this episode, we learn how creative applications of molecular genetics are used to target and eradicate neglected tropical diseases. These diseases affect an estimated 1.5 billion people and impact the world economy.

 

Trailer:

 

Full length video:

 

This show aired live on Wednesday, May 25th at 6:30 pm, on CCTV (Cambridge Channel 9).

About Our Guest:

Steve williams pro pic  Steven Williams ,PhD, Gates Foundation Professor of Biological Sciences and Biochemistry, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts.  Steve is a molecular biologist, geneticist and tropical medicine researcher who has worked all over the world on NTDs (neglected tropical diseases) including African river blindness, elephantiasis, hookworm and many others.  His research beginning in the 1980s has focused on an important group of tropical diseases termed the NTDs (neglected tropical diseases). These diseases afflict approximately 1.5 billion out of the 7 billion people living on our planet and are a major cause of the cycle of disease and poverty. Steve specializes in developing sensitive diagnostics based on the detection of DNA from the infectious agents. Much like a DNA fingerprint can unambiguously identify the perpetrator of a crime, DNA from infectious organisms can be unambiguously identified from patients and mosquito vectors. His laboratory also works with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Task Force for Global Health to screen populations for NTDs in a large number of countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. His funding for his research comes primarily from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

 

About the Producer and Host:

Pro Pic 2015  Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellness for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional tests fail.

 

Our Show was Made Possible By:

Production Assistants:  Hayley Green, Lauren Hogan, and Ya Gao (editing).

 

For Private Genetic Counseling, contact us via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617) 433-7874.

 

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Can meditation really change your life?  What is mindfulness? What is MBSR?

Find out answers to these questions and more when you tune in to our program.  In the last episode, we explored the science behind mindfulness and learned about the extraordinary health benefits associated with meditation.  Today, we will visit with a meditation instructor who will share some of her mindfulness techniques.

 

This show aired live on Wednesday, May 11th at 6:30 pm, on CCTV (Cambridge Channel 9).

 

About Our Guest:

Gena Bean is the founder of MindfulBoston, a meditative arts institute headquartered in Cambridge, MA.  Gena focuses on the format of mindfulness that she learned at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness.  Gena has been teaching stress reduction techniques since 2004.

 

About the Producer and Host:

Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellness for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional tests fail.

 

Our Show was Made Possible By:

Production Assistants:  Hayley Green, Lauren Hogan, and Ya Gao (editing).

 

For Private Genetic Counseling, contact us via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617)433-7874.

 

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Can meditation really change your life?  Can mindfulness improve your brain?  Can it alter your DNA expression?

 

Find out answers to these questions and many more when you tune in to our program.  In this two-part series, we will explore the science behind mindfulness.  In part two, we will visit with a meditation instructor who will share some of her mindfulness techniques.

 

 

This show aired live on Wednesday, April 13th at 6:30 pm, on CCTV (Cambridge Channel 9).

 

About our Guest:

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Sara W. Lazar, PhD is an Associate Researcher in Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. She researches the neural mechanisms of yoga and meditation, both in clinical settings and in healthy individuals. She has practiced yoga and meditation since 1994. Her research has been covered by numerous news outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, and WebMD.

 

About The Host and Producer:

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Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellness for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional paternity/maternity tests fail.

 

Production Assistants:  Hayley Green and Lauren Hogan are interns at the Master of Science Program in Genetic Counseling at the Boston University School of Medicine.

 

For Private Genetic Counseling, contact us via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617)433-7874.

Posted by & filed under CCTV's THE VIBRANT GENE talk show, Newborn Screening, Rare Disease.

Testing a newborn’s DNA could identify health risks, providing an early alert for parents and health providers. What are parents’ experiences with learning this information?

 

 

Short on time?  Here’s a teaser:

 

 

A research project at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital is exploring what may be the next generation of newborn screening.  Researchers of the BabySeq Project are inviting local babies to be some of the first to get all 23,000 of their genes sequenced and learn results about childhood-onset conditions.  Through a randomized controlled trial, healthy newborns and sick newborns being treated in the NICU will gain access to sequencing, and at no cost.

 

What will the parents do with the information?  Will it be useful to their pediatricians?  How do these genetic test results compare with standard newborn screening tests?  How soon can we anticipate commercial labs offering this test?  Find out by joining us on channel 9 or on our YouTube channel.

 

Join us on Wednesday March 23rd at 6:30 pm, on CCTV (Cambridge Channel 9).

This show will also be available here (link to be provided) within one week of taping.

 

 

About our Guests:

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Maggie Helm obtained her Bachelors in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience from Colby College and her Masters in Genetic Counseling from Brandeis University. After graduating, she worked as a prenatal genetic counselor at Women & Infants Hospital. Maggie helped manage several projects with G2P looking at the use of genomic sequencing by healthy individuals. She is the project manager and genetic counselor for the BabySeq project, a randomized control trial exploring the use of genomic sequencing in newborns.

 

A&S graduate, photographed for an Arts & Sciences web slideshow. Meghan Connolly Towne, A&S '07, at 3 Blackfan Circle, Boston.

 

Meghan Towne obtained her Bachelors in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry from Boston College and a Masters in Genetic Counseling from Boston University.  She has since been working at The Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research at Boston Children’s Hospital and has helped shape the Center into a world-wide model for rare disease research.  She is the outgoing project manager for the Boston Children’s Hospital site of the BabySeq project.  She also serves as a coordinator of the Research Seminar Series of the Boston University School of Medicine Genetic Counseling graduate program.

 

About The Host and Producer:

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Kayla Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellness for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional paternity/maternity tests fail.

 

Production Assistants:  Hayley Green and Lauren Hogan are interns at the Master of Science Program in Genetic Counseling at the Boston University School of Medicine.

 

Special thanks to Tracy Menoza, Catherine Coste and Dita Obler, LCGC, for insights and inspiration.

 

For Private Genetic Counseling, contact us via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617)433-7874.