Medical Genetics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The field of medical genetics in the United States has multiple origin stories. This chapter presents a historical account of the emergence of medical genetics. Heredity clinics, which were started in the 1940s, brought together geneticists and clinicians to provide medical information and encourage eugenic decision making. Human cytogenetic analysis during the late 1950s led to the association of multiple clinical disorders with visible chromosomal abnormalities. In 1960, Victor McKusick, who had founded the Division of Medical Genetics at Baltimore, started the annual Short Course in Medical and Mammalian Experimental Genetics to educate physicians in genetics. In 1966, the prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal disorders became central to the growth of medical genetics. With the introduction of large-scale genetic sequencing into medical practice in recent years, genetic counseling and medical genetics have developed increasingly close ties with the private sector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to the History of American Science
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781119072218
ISBN (Print)9781405156257
StatePublished - Oct 10 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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