Human Genetics Student Society


The Human Genetics Student Society (HGSS)

The Human Genetics Student Society (HGSS) at the School of Public Health provides a collaborative setting for master’s and doctoral-level graduate students interested in genetic or molecular epidemiology, statistical genetics, medical genetics and genetic counseling.  HGSS facilitates student discussion on the latest translational science in human genetics with emphasis on applications for improving health and wellness of diverse populations.  As modern biotechnology ascertains genetic variation mediating dynamic epistasis, functional gene product and gene-environment interactions which drive pathogenesis of most chronic diseases, psychiatric disorders and cancers, ethical considerations remain at the forefront.  HGSS membership benefits include spirited discussion on academic and bioethical topics, mentorship, community outreach and social activities with fellow SPH students and faculty.

Main Activities and Programs

  • Bimonthly journal club meetings to present and discuss recent translational science in human genetics and potential impact on public health issues
  • Presentations by distinguished faculty of TMC institutions on human genetic and molecular approaches to elucidate pathogenesis and pathophysiology of complex diseases and aid design of novel personal diagnostics, cancer biologics and drug therapies
  • Bioethical discussions on the impact of human genetics on biomedical research, patient care, civil liberties and health disparities
  • Community engagement with K-12 schools in Houston to teach genomics topics in fun classroom activities designed to build greater self-efficacy for personal health and wellness and interest in STEM-related fields
  • Social activities and networking opportunities for fellow students in search of faculty mentorships or academic and private sector partnerships in aforementioned fields

2012-2013 Leadership Committee

President and Founder: Kalyan Chitturi,

Vice President: Chang Li

Secretary: Amy Hallmark

Faculty Advisor: Jan Bressler, Ph.D., M.P.H.