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Genetic Counseling Assistant

Position Title: Genetic Counseling Assistant

Part-Time Term (7/1/2020 through 6/30/2021)


HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a genomic science and applications nonprofit organization located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a high-volume genomic data producer and a global scientific collaborator valued for genomic data analysis and interpretation to solve questions in cancer, undiagnosed childhood genomic disorders, neuro-psychiatric disorders, immune-mediated disease, agriculture and more. Its unique campus crosses the boundaries between scientists, educators, and commercial business to spark innovation and growth.


Educational Outreach is an essential component of the HudsonAlpha mission. The education and outreach programs of HudsonAlpha are organized around two guiding principles: preparing the future biotechnology workforce and cultivating an awareness of the influence of genetics and biotechnology on the lives of all citizens. The genetic counseling team at HudsonAlpha resides within the Educational Outreach department and leads the development and implementation of educational programs for clinical audiences as well as supports the clinical and research-based genetic counseling needs across HudsonAlpha.


The Genetic Counseling Assistant (GCA) will support the genetic counseling team at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. This position will assist with genetic counseling tasks related to clinical genetic counseling, genomic research, and educational activities. Tasks include using multiple electronic systems to input data and use standardized criteria to classify family health history information. The GCA will also be expected to utilize templates to draft summaries of genetic testing results for patients and research participants, review scientific literature, and organize data.
This a part-time (20 hours per week) position. Specific days and hours of work will be during regular business hours but can be flexible. This is a termed position specifically for the period of 7/1/2020 through 6/30/2021. This position is based at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama.
The ideal candidate for this position is an individual who is completing, or has recently completed, an undergraduate degree in biology or a related field who is planning to pursue a career as a genetic counselor. This position will involve opportunities to observe and participate in the work done by the HudsonAlpha genetic counseling team. This position requires technology proficiency, attention to detail, multitasking, and a commitment to patient privacy. In addition, the GCA must comply with clinic immunization policies.

  • Use family health history data and standardized criteria to identify cases at increased risk of genetic disease
  • Use standardized templates to draft summaries of genetic test results for patients and research participants
  • Identify and evaluate patient/participant support resources
  • Facilitate informed consent for genomic research studies
  • Build family history pedigrees on paper and in electronic systems
  • Enter and manage data using Microsoft Excel
  • Read and synthesize scientific literature
  • Bachelor's degree in biology, genetics, or a related field preferred (college seniors are also welcome to apply)
  • Basic familiarity with pedigree symbols and nomenclature
  • Proficiency with technology
  • Attention to detail and ability to multitask
Physical Demands/Environmental Factors/Mental Functions 
ADA Requirements The physical demands, work environment factors, and mental functions described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential function of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Disclaimer - All job requirements are subject to possible revision to reflect changes in the position requirements or to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. Some requirements may exclude individuals who pose a threat or risk to the health and safety of themselves or other employees. This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties which will be required in this position. Employees will be required to follow other job-related duties as requested by their supervisor/manager (within guidelines and compliance with Federal and State Laws). Continued employment remains on an "at-will" basis.
The physical requirements and environmental conditions of this position consist primarily of:
  • Compliance with staff immunization policy at the Smith Family Clinic or Genomic Medicine. This includes documentation of influenza vaccination (annually) and Hepatitis B, as well as a negative TB skin test (annually)
Physical Demands
  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position (sit or stand) for prolonged periods (50% of the time).
  • Constant moving during hosted events.
  • Frequently position self (e.g. stoop, crouch, crawl, bend) and pull and push to maintain computers and audio/visual equipment in the classroom/laboratory.
  • Must be able to transport materials required for various experiences. This includes lifting and moving up to 25 pounds of materials (e.g. small stacks of textbooks, media equipment, desks, and other classroom equipment) between classrooms/laboratories and to and from parking lots and buildings.
  • Frequent operation of common office equipment (e.g. computers, mobile devices, calculators, copiers, scanners).
  • Frequently move around a classroom or HudsonAlpha campus to monitor guests of HudsonAlpha.
  • Occasional air/car travel for meetings, conferences, or other activities which may require overnight stay(s). 
  • Frequent communication with guests of HudsonAlpha in an auditorium, atrium, or classroom/laboratory.
  • Vision abilities - close vision, distance vision, and ability to adjust/focus.
  • Continuous mental and visual attention requiring constant alertness or activity
 Environmental Factors
  • Moderate noise level (i.e. business office with computers, phone, and printers, light traffic).
  • Workspace is generally an indoor office setting and in other common and education spaces throughout HudsonAlpha with controlled temperature conditions.
  • Occasional exposure to outdoor environment during portions of the workday including extreme cold or hot temperatures, or inclement weather conditions.
  • Prolonged and irregular working hours, which include early morning and/or evening hours, as business dictates.
Mental Functions
  • Maintain emotional control under stress.
  • Ability to understand complex problems and to collaborate and explore alternative solutions.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, in the English language.
  • Convey genomic science information in a clear, concise, and easily understandable manner.
  • Use interpersonal skills to foster a stimulating, accepting learning environment.
It is the policy of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, in accordance with all applicable laws, to recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job titles without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.