10 years ago today, I officially became a Genetic Counselor! Things have come a long way in one short decade. Here are some of the 5 the biggest changes I’ve seen happen in clinical genetics over my career.

In 2009…

  1. Gene patents were legal giving patent-holding labs monopolies over genetic testing for certain genes. This was struck down by the US Supreme Court in 2013 (Yay! 👩‍⚖️🧬🎉)
  2. The price of a clinical sequencing test was about $1000-$2000 per gene. Results could take about 3 months. We didn’t even think about ordering sequencing of the whole genome. That could cost up to $500,000!
  3. Technologies like Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Cytogenetic Microarrays were just becoming available for clinical use. Their use would quickly become widespread over the coming decade, bringing the cost of testing and wait times for results way down, while increasing diagnostic yields.
  4. 23andMe reduced its price to $399 from $999 the year before! They would later be shut down by the FDA and then allowed to re-open before going on to become a common stocking stuffer. 
  5. I would be met with blank stares or confused looks when I told people what I do. Now, people are more likely to tell me about their experience with a GC, or ask me to look at their test results.

Here’s to another great decade ahead. Congrats to all the new grads joining our ranks this month! 🥂🎉🧬