Stanford Medical Genetics Residency Program

Program Overview

Residents in the the Stanford Medical Genetics Program benefit from a unique educational environment. Clinical training occurs primarily at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford Hospital and Clinics. Residents also rotate through the clinical genetics laboratories at the Stanford Medical Center for experience in biochemical genetics, cytogenetics and molecular genetics. A variety of clinical and basic science research opportunities are available to trainees within the Division of Medical Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics and in the wider Stanford University School of Medicine community.

Residents also have access to the broad course offerings of the School of Medicine. An especially rich curriculum in the scientific underpinnings of clinical genetics is offered through the M.S. in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling program. Our two year program is accredited by the ACGME Residency Review Committee in Medical Genetics and prepares our graduates to sit for the Clinical Genetics Board Examination administered by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG). We are able to accept two residents per year.

The residency program seeks to attract physicans of diverse backgrounds and experience interested in pursuing careers in medical genetics. The residency is open to physicians who have completed at least one year of residency training in another ACGME accredited primary specialty in the United States or equivalent training in Canada. Residents must be eligible to work in the United States and obtain a California medical license prior to the commencement of training.

Clinical Curriculum

First year fellows gain experience in the general genetics clinicmetabolic genetics cliniccleft and craniofacial clinic, neurogenetics clinic and genetic skin diseases clinic. In the second year, clinical responsibilites are significantly decreased to allow time for research and professional development. Second year rotations include cancer genetics clinicprenatal genetics clinic and the clinical lab rotations in biochemical geneticscytogenetics and molecular genetics. Second year residents continue to participate in the general genetics clinic to provide opportunity to see follow-up patients. Residents can also participate in the Down Syndrome Clinic and undertake electives.


Residents are expected to participate in research endeavors during their residency. Research has involved been performed in arenas including both clinical and basic science projects.

Competitively awarded fellowships administered by the Department of Pediatrics are available to support additional clinical, translational or basic science research training. We aim to foster reseach endeavors during residency that will help position those interested in pursuing research career development award. For example, our past graduate, Dr. Gomez-Ospina, was awarded an NIH K-08 award. We also congratulate our recent residents who have received awards for their work: 

    Dr. Maura Ruzhnikov: 2017 WSPR David W. Smith Pediatric Trainee Research Award
    Dr. Norah Alsaleh: 2017 Mead Johnson Nutrition Travel Award
    Dr. Gretchen Foskett: 2018 WSPR Abbott Nutrition Subspecialty Award
    Dr. Lauren Carter: 2018 WSPR Abbott Nutrition Subspecialty Award; 2019 AFMR Henry Christian Award
    Dr. Ethen Bodle: 2019 WSPR Abbott Nutrition Subspecialty Award

The residents are highly encouraged to publish their work in peer-reviewed journals. Trainees have co-authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and have regularly presented their work at regional and national meetings including the David W. Smith Workshop on Malformations and Morphogenesis and annual meetings of the ASHG, WSPR, ACMG, and SIMD. Examples of published research from residents in the past several years are shown here.

How to Apply

Applications for training to start July 2020 or later will be accepted via ERAS beginning in July one year prior to the start date. Promising applicants will be invited to a one day on-site interview to be conducted in the late summer or early fall. 

Required Materials:

1. CV
2. Three letters of reference
3. USMLE Scores
4. Copy of medical school transcript
5. Personal statement 


Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the program coordinator year-round with any questions, requests for information or guidance in the application process.

Program Contacts

David Stevenson, MD
Program Director

Jon Bernstein, MD, PhD
Associate Program Director

Dena Matalon, MD
Associate Program Director

Mary Riordan, Residency & Fellowship Coordinator
Stephanie Martinez, Local Residency Coordinator
Tel: 650-724-7191

Mailing address: 
Stanford Medical Genetics Residency Program
300 Pasteur Drive H-315
Palo Alto, CA 94305


Meet Our Residents

1st Year Residents

José Andrés Morales, MD

Medical School: Universidad de San Carlos Facultad de Ciencias Medicas, Guatemala

Prior Residency: Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, NY - Pediatrics

Andrés' interest in genetics sparked from reading sci-fi stories in his childhood.  Under the mentorship of Dr. Julio Cabrera, one of Guatemala's key geneticists, he was able to obtain clinical experience in different areas within genetics.  This exposure led him to a strong enthusiasm for metabolic, neurologic and skeletal disorders.  Andrés looks forward to attaining his medical biochemical fellowship, helping him to enhance these interests.  His long-term goal is to improve health care in his birth country through various projects, including pioneering public newborn screening in Guatemala.


Melinda Palma, MD

Medical School: University of Massachusetts Medical School

Prior Residency: Harbor UCLA MedicalCenter - Pediatrics

Melinda is interested in biochemical genetics and the treatment of metabolic conditions.  Her research interest is in metabolomics.  Prior to medical school, she worked in a metabolomics lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and she hopes to apply that research experience to metabolomics studies in patients with inborn errors of metabolism.


Christina Tise, MD, PhD

Medical School: University of Maryland

Graduate: PhD (Epidemiology & Human Genetics) University of Maryland

Christy’s interest in plants has grown into a love of plant genetics which further evolved into a passion for human genetics.  As an MD/PhD student at the University of Maryland, Christy studied Human Genetics and Genomic Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Alan Shuldiner, known for his studies in the Old Order Amish.  Christy hopes to discover and test new diagnostics and therapeutics for genetic conditions, for it is the undiscovered aspects of medicine that interest her the most.  Her research interests include Mendelian analysis, novel gene discovery, variant interpretation, GWAS/ExWAS, founder populations, diagnostic genetic testing, biochemical genetics, and bioethics.

2nd Year Residents

Jennifer Schymick, MD, PhD

Medical School: UC-Irvine

Graduate: PhD (Mol. Genetics) Oxford University-NIH

Prior Residency: University of Toronto - Internal Medicine

Jennifer became interested in genetics while working as a member of the Human Genome Project.  She completed her PhD in molecular genetics on research applying SNP microarray and next generation sequencing technologies to uncover genetic causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, most notably C9orf72.  Jennifer's current interests involve applying genome-wide technologies to uncover molecular pathways involved in disease pathogenesis.  She has an interest in adult onset genetic disorders and transitional care for patients with genetic conditions as they move from pediatric care to adulthood.


Frances Velez-Bartolomei, MD

Medical School: Universidad Central del Caribe

Prior Residency: San Juan City Hospital - Pediatrics

Frances is interested in both dysmorphology and the diagnosis and management of metabolic conditions.  In the future, she plans to continue her training in Biochemical Genetics and looks forward to conducting clinical trials related to the management of genetic disorders.

Additional Information

Resident Benefits

For information on benefits available to residents at the Stanford University Medical Center please see the Graduate Medical Education Website.

Stanford Area Housing

Information of housing near the medical center is available through the Office of Graduate Medical Education.