Specialists And Care Centers

Specialists And Care Centers

Genetics Counselors

To schedule an appointment, please call 312.472.4151.

What is a genetic counselor?
​Genetic counselors are master’s degree-trained heath care providers, who are experts in the field of genetics. The genetic counselors in the Division of Clinical Genetics are licensed by the State of Illinois and are board certified/eligible by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC). The role of the genetic counselor is to help you understand various genetic conditions and the risk of them occurring in a current or future pregnancy.  Our genetic counselors specialize in reproductive genetics and will answer all of your questions about fetal risk for birth defects, chromosome abnormalities and genetic conditions, as well as current screening and diagnostic testing options. Genetic counselors are specifically trained to explain risks and test results in understandable terms and to help you make informed family planning and pregnancy management decisions. Our genetic counselors excel in providing the highest quality genetic counseling available.

Brittany DeGreef, MS
Brittany DeGreef is an Instructor in the Feinberg School of Medicine. She received her master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University in 2016. She started her career with the Northwestern Cancer Genetics Program where she provides comprehensive genetic counseling services  and coordination of medical management for patients and families impacted by a variety of hereditary cancer indications. Her clinical interests include the psychosocial implications surrounding cancer genetics and she also contributes to clinical research studies in cancer genetics.

Olivia Hess, MS, CGC
Olivia Hess is an Instructor in the Feinberg School of Medicine. She received her master’s degree from the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at Northwestern University in 2006, and was certified by the ABGC in 2007. She started her career in genetic counseling at Desert Perinatal Associates in Las Vegas, and has been at Northwestern since 2014. At Northwestern, Olivia provides comprehensive prenatal and preconception genetic counseling for a variety of indications at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Olivia’s clinical interests include decision-making and the psychosocial issue surrounding genetic testing in the prenatal settings. She also contributes to clinical research studies in cancer and reproductive genetics.

Rachel Pothast, MS, CGC
Rachel Pothast is an Instructor in the Feinberg School of Medicine. She received her master’s degree from the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at Northwestern University in 1999, and was certified by the ABGC in 2002. She started her career in genetic counseling at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, and has been at Northwestern since 2009. At Northwestern, Rachel provides comprehensive prenatal and preconception genetic counseling for a variety of indications. Rachel’s clinical interests include ultrasound findings and hemoglobinopathies. She also contributes to clinical research studies in reproductive genetics.

Megan Hinton, MS, CGC
Megan Hinton is an Assistant Professor in the Feinberg School of Medicine. She received her master’s degree from the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at Northwestern University in 2000 and was certified by the ABGC in 2002. She started her career in genetic counseling at the Fetal Diagnostic Center of Evanston Hospital and the Evanston Health Department, and has been at Northwestern since 2001. At Northwestern, Megan provides comprehensive prenatal and preconception genetic counseling for a variety of indications. Megan’s clinical interests include fetal ultrasound anomalies and familial chromosome rearrangements. She also contributes to clinical research studies in reproductive genetics.

Sara Spencer, MS, CGC
Sara Spencer is an Assistant Professor in the Feinberg School of Medicine. She received her master’s degree in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College in 2006, and was certified by the ABGC in 2007. She started her career in genetic counseling at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and has been at Northwestern since 2009. At Northwestern, Sara provides comprehensive prenatal and preconception genetic counseling for a variety of indications. Sara’s clinical interests include family history of genetic disease and expanded carrier screening. She also contributes to clinical research studies in reproductive and cancer genetics.

Catherine Wicklund, MS, CGC
Cathy Wicklund is an Assistant Professor in the Feinberg School of Medicine.  She received her master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from the University of Texas-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 1993 and was certified by the ABGC in 1996.  She started her career providing pediatric and prenatal genetic counseling at Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey and then prenatal genetic counseling at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas.  Cathy joined the group at Northwestern in 2006 and provides comprehensive prenatal and preconception genetic counseling for a variety of indications. Cathy is also the Director of the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling.  Her research interests include psychosocial issues and decision making in prenatal diagnosis, access to genetic counseling services, personalized medicine and public policy specific to genomic testing and services.