Licensed Genetic Counselor

Allain

Assistant Professor, Clinical, Medical Genetics Program
Co-Director, Genetic Counseling Graduate Program

Comprehensive Cancer Center
2012 Kenny Road
Columbus, OH 43221

614-293-6694
Fax: 614-293-2314
Dawn.Allain@osumc.edu

Licenses:
  • Licensed genetic counselor: State Medical Board of Ohio, 2013 - present
  • Certified genetic counselor: American Board of Genetic Counseling, 2006 - 2016
  • Certified genetic counselor: American Board of Genetic Counseling, 1996 - 2006
Specialty interests:

Genetic counselor and health professional education, Adult medical genetics, Down syndrome, Professional development 

Clinical interests: 

Ms. Allain provides clinical genetic counseling services for patients in the Adult Down Syndrome Clinic and the Medical Genetics and Genomics Program in the Division of Human Genetics.

Research interests: 

Ms. Allain’s research interests include assessing the value of genetic counselors in genetic service delivery, the impact of genetic counseling on patient outcomes and educational research. She is the research coordinator for gene-hunting studies looking for gene(s) involved with the development of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.

Ms. Allain has been involved with genetic counselor licensure efforts for many years, first in Illinois and then in Wisconsin. Most recently, she helped co-lead the successful passage of a genetic counselor licensure law in the state of Ohio. She is a past president and previous board member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and in this role, she helped found the NSGC licensure grants program. More recently, she served as an appointed member to the NSGC Ethics Advisory Group (2010-2013), the Conflict of Interest Taskforce (2012-2013) and has helped draft NSGC’s position statements on genetic nondiscrimination and human gene patenting. She is also a member of the NSGC’s Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship Advisory Group. She is a recipient of the 2011 Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship (JEMF), an annual grant from the Engelberg Foundation to the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), Inc, a 2010 Harvard Macy Scholar, a 2012 OSU Faculty Teaching Scholar and the NSGC’s 2008 Strategic Leadership Award.

Biography: 

As a clinician educator I have spent my career promoting the genetic counseling profession through service, research and educational activities. This work has culminated in my current position as the program director of The Ohio State University's new Genetic Counseling Graduate Program. I consistently strive to improve my skill set and my recognition as an expert in my profession. I have participated in educational activities, such as my tenure as a Harvard Macy Scholar and my current involvement in The Ohio State University Faculty Leadership Institute, to enhance my educational skills and leadership capabilities. I strive to promote genetic counselors as integral genetic service delivery providers as illustrated through my successful service efforts to obtain licensure and credentialing. Lastly, I have participated and been funded for my research assessing the value of genetic counselors and the use of diverse genetic service delivery models. All of these efforts have made me a successful clinician and educator.


Education:

MS: Genetic counseling, Northwestern University, 1993
BS: Biology, University of New Hampshire, 1989


Honors:
  • Strategic Leader Award – National Society of Genetic Counselors, 2008 - present
  • Harvard Macy Scholar – Harvard Macy Institute, 2010

Professional activities:

  • Roundtable discussion on Professional Organizations Efforts in Genetics Education and Training, Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society (SACGHS), Washington DC, present
  • Genetic Counseling Advisory Group, Myriad Genetics, Salt Lake City, UT, 2009
  • Cancer Genetics in Your Practice Conference, Ohio Department of Public Health Cancer Genetics Network, 2008 - 2009
  • Public Health Genetics and Genomics Certificate Program advisory board, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY, 2004 - 2006

Chapters in Books

Allain, DC, Gilligan MA, Redlich P. "Genetic Counseling and Testing for Breast Cancer." In Cancer of the Breast. 5 ed. Edited by William Donegan. 249-268. St. Louis, MO, US|USA: Saunders, January 2002

Allain, DC. "Testing Children for Adult-Onset Disorders." In Ethical Dilemmas in Genetics and Genetic Counseling: Principles Through Case Scenarios. 1 ed. Edited by Berliner, Janice L.. 96-116. New York, NY, US|USA: Oxford University Press, November 2014

Allain DC and Ormond KE. "Ethical Issues in Genetic and Genomic Research." In Ethical Dilemmas in Genetics and Genetic Counseling Principles Through Case Scenarios. 1 ed. Edited by Berliner, Janice L. 186-208. New York, NY, US|USA: Oxford University, November 2014

Clinical Services

  • Adult Down Syndrome Clinic – Outpatient clinic at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Polaris Innovation Centre, (2009-2015)
  • ALS Clinic – Outpatient clinic at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Martha Morehouse Tower, (2013)
  • Clinical Cancer Genetics Program – The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Polaris Innovation Centre, (2006-2011)
  • Mt. Carmel Cancer Risk Program – Mt. Carmel Health Center, OSUWMC contracted services, (2006-2009)
  • Medical Genetics and Genomics Program – Outpatient Clinic at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Polaris Innovations Centre, (2008)

Editorial Activities

Present Activities

  • Journal of Genetic Counseling
  • Genetics in Medicine
  • Clinical Genetics

Past Activities

  • Personalized Medicine, (2012)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology, (2004)

Journal Articles

Fagerberg,W,R; Allain,D. "A quantitative study of tissue dynamics during closure in the traps of venus flytrap dionaea-muscipula ellis." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY. Vol. 78, no. 5. (May 1991.): 647-657

Allain D, Niendorf KB, Leopold B. "Opportunity Knocks." Perspectives in Genetic Counseling. Vol. 3, no. 23. (January 2001.): 3-3

Allain, D.. "Genetic Counseling and Testing for Hereditary Breast and Colorectal Cancer Syndromes: An Overview." Contemporary Oncology. Vol. 1, no. 18. (January 2003)

Allain DC. "Presidential address 2003: NSGC living life forward.." JOURNAL OF GENETIC COUNSELING. Vol. 13, no. 1. (February 2004.): 1-7

Allain D.. "Hereditary Cancer Syndromes: Nurses can enhance identification of at-risk clients and influence medical outcomes." Advance for Nurses. Vol. 4, no. 7. (January 2004.): 22-23

Allain, D.. "Presidential Address 2003: NSGC Living Life Forward." Journal of Genetic Counseling. Vol. 1, no. 13. (January 2004.): 1-7

Allain D, Sweet K, and Agnese D.. "Management options after prophylactic surgeries in women with BRCA mutations: a review." CANCER CONTROL: JOURNAL OF THE MOFFIT CANCER CENTER. Vol. 14, no. 4. (January 2007.): 330-337

Allain DC. "Genetic Counseling and Testing for Common Hereditary Breast Cancer Syndromes." Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. Vol. 10, no. 5. (September 2008.): 383-395

Allain DC. "Genetic counseling and testing for common hereditary breast cancer syndromes - A paper from the 2007 William Beaumont Hospital symposium on molecular pathology." JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS. Vol. 10, no. 5. (September 2008.): 383-395

Allain,Dawn,C. "Genetic counseling and testing for common hereditary breast cancer syndromes - A paper from the 2007 William Beaumont Hospital symposium on molecular pathology." JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS. Vol. 10, no. 5. (September 2008.): 383-395

Dworkin,Amy,M; Tseng,Stephanie,Y; Allain,Dawn,C; Iwenofu,O,Hans; Peters,Sara,B; Toland,Amanda,E. "Merkel Cell Polyomavirus in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Immunocompetent Individuals." JOURNAL OF INVESTIGATIVE DERMATOLOGY. Vol. 129, no. 12. (December 2009.): 2868-2874

Dworkin, AM, Tseng SY, Allain DC, Iwenfofu OH, Peters SB, Toland AE.. "Merkel cell polyomavirus in cutanous squamous cell carcinoma of immunocompetent individuals.." JOURNAL OF INVESTIGTIVE DERMATOLOGY. Vol. 12, no. 129. (December 2009.): 2868-2874

Dworkin AM, Ridd K, Bautista D, Allain DC, Iwenofu OH, et al.. "Germline Variation Controls Architecture of Somatic Alterations in Tumors." PLoS Genet. Vol. 9, no. 6. (September 2010.): e1001136. doi:10.371/journal.pgen.1001136

Dworkin,Amy,M; Ridd,Katie; Bautista,Dianne; Allain,Dawn,C; Iwenofu,O,Hans; Roy,Ritu; Bastian,Boris,C; Toland,Amanda,Ewart. "Germline Variation Controls the Architecture of Somatic Alterations in Tumors." PLOS GENETICS. Vol. 6, no. 9. (September 2010.): e1001136

Allain D, Baker M, Blazer K, Cohen S, Copeland K, Djurdjinovic L, Faucett A, Lambert N, Manley S, Nagy R, Nazareth S, Rosenthal E, Solomon C, Trepanier A.. "Evolving Models of Cancer Risk Counseling." Perspectives in Genetic Counseling. Vol. 1, no. 32. (January 2010.): 13-16

Dworkin AM, Tseng SY, Allain DC, Iwenfofu OH, Peters SB, Toland AE. "Germline variation controls the architecture of somatic alterations in tumors." PLOS GENETICS. Vol. 6, no. 9. (September 2010.): e1001136

Stuenkel AJ, Campion M, Allain D, Hampel H. "Transition to the clinical doctorate: Attitudes of the genetic counseling training program directors in North America." JOURNAL OF GENETIC COUNSELING. Vol. 1, no. 21. (September 2011.): 136-149

Havercamp,S,M; Tasse,M,J; Benson,B,A; Manikam,M; Allain,Dawn; Grover,M. "Health and access to healthcare for Ohioans with Down syndrome." JOURNAL OF INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY RESEARCH. Vol. 56, no. 7-8. (July 2012.): 760-760

Havercamp,S,M; Tasse,M,J; Benson,B,A; Manikam,M; Allain,Dawn; Grover,M. "Health and access to healthcare for Ohioans with Down syndrome." JOURNAL OF INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY RESEARCH. Vol. 56, no. 7-8. (July 2012.): 760-760

Allain DC, Friedman S, Senter L. "Consumer awareness and attitudes about insurance discrimination post enactment of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act." FAMILIAL CANCER. Vol. 11, no. 4. (December 2012.): 637-644

Hershberger,Ray,E; Hedges,Dale,J; Morales,Ana. "Dilated cardiomyopathy: the complexity of a diverse genetic architecture." NATURE REVIEWS CARDIOLOGY. Vol. 10, no. 9. (September 2013.): 531-547

Fleming, JL, Dworkin AM, Allain DC, Fernandez S, Wei,L, Peters SB; Iwenofu OH, Ridd K, Bastian BC, Toland AE. "Allele-specific imbalance mapping identifies HDAC9 as a candidate gene for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma." INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CANCER. Vol. 134, no. 1. (January 2014.): 244-248

Trepanier AM, Allain DC. "Models of service delivery for cancer genetic risk assessment and counseling." JOURNAL OF GENETIC COUNSELING. Vol. 23, no. 2. (April 2014.): 239-253

Trepanier AM, Cohen SA, Allain DC. "Thinking differently about genetic service delivery." CURRENT GENETIC MEDICINE REPORTS. Vol. 3, no. 2. (April 2015.): 1-8

Douma KFL, Smets EMA, Allain DC.. "Non-genetic health professionals’ attitude towards, knowledge of and skills in discussing and ordering genetic testing for hereditary cancer." Familial Cancer. Vol. Open Access, (November 2015.): 1-10

Tasse MJ, Navas Macho P, Havercamp SP, Benson BA, Allain DC, Manickam K, Davis S.. "Psychiatric Conditions Prevalent Among Adults with Down Syndrome." Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. Vol. 0, (May 2016.): 00-00

Gillespie J, Skeeles LE, Allain DC, Kent MN, Peters SB, et al.. "MicroRNA expression profiling in metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma." JOURNAL OF EURPOEAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY AND VENEREOLOGY. Vol. 30, no. 6. (June 2016.): 1043-45

Douma,Kirsten,FL; Smets,Ellen,MA; Allain,Dawn,C. "Non-genetic health professionals' attitude towards, knowledge of and skills in discussing and ordering genetic testing for hereditary cancer.." Familial cancer. Vol. 15, no. 2. (April 2016.): 341-350

Reference Works

March 2011:

Trepanier A, Allain D, Cohen S."Genetic Counseling" Vancouver

April 2010:

Manickam K, Allain D, "Genomic Practice" Bethesda

Presentations

"Professional Position Statements and Practice Guidelines the NSGC Perspective." Presented at American Society of Human Genetics, Los Angeles, CA, US|USA. (November 2003)

"National Society Genetic Counselor Report on Genetic Education and Training." Presented at Secretary's Advsiory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society (SACGHS), Washington, DC, US|USA. (June 2004)

"Genetic Counseling and Testing for Breast Cancer." Presented at William Beaumont Hospital Symposium on Molecular Pathology, Troy, MI, US|USA (September 2006)

"Work Life Balance." Presented at National Society of Genetic Counselors, Kansas City, MO, US|USA. (October 2007)

"Incorporating genome-wide association studies (GWAS) into Genetic Risk Assessment: Current Practices, Challenges, and Future Directions." Presented at National Society of Genetic Counselors 27th Annual Education Conference, Los Angeles, CA, US|USA. (October 2008)

"Student Transitions." Presented at National Society of Genetic Counselors Annual Education Conference, Atlanta, GA, US|USA. (November 2009)

"GINA: The Process and Implications.." Presented at National Society of Genetic Counselors 29th Annual Education Conference, Dallas, TX, US|USA. (November 2010)

"The Evolution and Drafting of the NSGC Gene Patenting Position Statement." Presented at National Society of Genetic Counselors 29th Annual Education Conference, Dallas, TX, US|USA. (November 2010)

"The Value of Genetic Counselors in Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast-Ovarian Cancer." Presented at The National Society of Genetic Counselors 29th Annual Education Conference, San Diego, CA, US|USA. (October 2010)

"Copy Number Variant Genomics Clinic at The Ohio State University Medical Center." Presented at 4th National Conference on Genomics and Public Health, Bethesda, MD, US|USA. (October 2010)

"Assessing the Use of Various Service Delivery Models in Cancer Genetics." Presented at American College of Medical Genetics Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting, Vancouver, BC, CA|CAN. (March 2011)

"Does the Use of Alternative Service Delivery Models Enhance Access to Service?." Presented at National Society of Genetic Counselors 30th Annual Education Conference, San Diego, CA, US|USA. (October 2011)

"The Value of Genetic Counselors in Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast-Ovarian Cancer." Presented at The National Society of Genetic Counselors 30th Annual Education Conference, San Diego, CA, US|USA. (October 2011)

"Health of Persons with Developmental Disabilities." Presented at State of Ohio 10th Annual MI/DD Conference, Columbus, OH, US|USA. (September 2012)

"Genetic Counselor Licensure and Quality Genetic Service Delivery." Presented at American College of Medical Genetics Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, US|USA. (March 2013)

"Ethical, Legal, Social and Policy Issues." Presented at American Society of Human Genetics, Boston, MA, US|USA. (October 2013)

"The OSUWMC Adult Down Syndrome Clinic: Experiences and Lessons Learned." Presented at Healthcare Advisory Committee, Columbus, OH, US|USA. (March 2015)

"Variability of Expresion in SETX-related motor neuron disease: A Single Family, Multigenerational Evaluation." Presented at American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, US|USA. (April 2015)

"Next Generation Sequencing Panels and Whole Exome Sequencing: Impact and Challenges." Presented at 16th Biennial Congress of the South African Society for Human Genetics, Pretoria, ZA|ZAF. (August 2015)

"Ethical Dilemmas in Genetics." Presented at 16th Biennal South African Human Genetics Conference, Pretoria, ZA|ZAF. (August 2015)

"Leveraging Licensure to Increase Access to Genetic Counseling Services and Increase Revenue." Presented at National Society of Genetic Counselors 34th Annual Education Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, US|USA. (October 2015)

Technical Reports

Allain D, Riconda D, Facio F, Eastabrook-Hahn, S, "Human Gene Patenting". Chicago: National Society of Genetic Counselors. (2010) [Peer-Review] (Published) http://nsgc.org/p/bl/et/blogaid=29

Allain D, Morales A, Shannon K, Zonno K, Hahn S, "Nondiscrimination". Chicago: National Society of Genetic Counselors. (2011) [Peer-Review] (Published) http://nsgc.org/p/bl/et/blogaid=32

Allain D, Senter J, Biesecker B, Strecker J, Harper C, "Conflict of Interest Policies". Chicago: National Society of Genetic Counselors. (2013) [Peer-Review] (Published) http://nsgc.org/p/do/sd/topic=123&sid=842

Unpublished Works

Wagner KN, Nagaraja H, Allain DC, Quick A, Kolb S, Roggenbuck J.. Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Have High Interest in and Limited Access to Genetic Testing. April 2016

Morales A, Allain DC, Arscott P, James E, MacCarric G, Murray B, Tichnell AR, Spencer S, Fitzgerald-Butt SM, Kushner JD, Munn C, Smith E, Spoonamore KG, Tandri HS, Kay WA.. Identifying and Managing Women at Risk for Cardiovascular Genetic Conditions in Pregnancy. May 2016

Advising

Advising

Undergraduate Advising Narrative

Kathleen Ray, a 2012 Ohio State undergraduate worked as my student employee for approximately one and a half years. She experienced a comprehensive and diverse exposure in genetic counseling research and practice while she was here. She was subsequently accepted into the University of Maryland Genetic Counseling Graduate Program. Ms. Ray will graduated from the University of Maryland on May 14, 2015 and began her first job as a genetic counselor at the Moffit Cancer Center in Miami, Florida.

Noteworthy Graduate Narrative

My graduate student, Nicole Lahner, for whom I am a thesis advisor applied for and received a $3000 grant from The Ohio State University Decisions Sciences Collaborative this past fall. This is a huge accomplishment not only for Nicole, but also the graduate program. Nicole is among nine students in the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program which started in the autumn of 2014. As such, the receipt of this grant shows the high caliber students we are training.

Karin Wagner, another one of my graduate students, was recently awarded a $750 grant from the National Society of Genetic Counselors' Neurogenetics Special Interest Group. This is a national award and it brings national recognition to The Ohio State University Genetic Counseling Graduate Program's research endeavors. 

Donika Saporito also obtained a highly coveted national fellowship from the Yale Smilow Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program. Ms. Saporito had to apply for the fellowship and provide proof that her educational training here at OSU would make her a worthy candidate. She was ultimately selected out of a competitive applicant pool and went to Yale for an eight week summer fellowship.

Master Graduate Advising

As the program director of the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program, I am the primary academic advisor to all of the Program's graduate students. I provide all of the students with frequent formative and summative feedback on their progress in the program, mentor them on developing a professional identity and prepare them for job interviewing. 

I am also the thesis advisor for two of our graduate students.

Academic Advisees

2017-present:

  • Rachel Supinger, The Ohio State University, Does Current Information Support Testing the Common Deletion in GJB6 as a Reflex Test in Individuals with 0 or 1 GJB2 Pathogenic Variants and Non-Syndromic Hearing Loss?,

2016-present:

  • Kyle Dillahunt, The Ohio State University, Frequency of PTEN Gene Mutations in Children Being Evaluated for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability and Global Developmental Delays in the Presence of Macrocephaly, 
  • Megha Ranganathan, The Ohio State University, The Effects of Age-of-Onset on the Phenotypic Manifestations of Adult-Onset Huntington’s Disease,
  • Brenda Zuniga, The Ohio State University, Identification and Comparison of Service Delivery Models for Telegenetics in the United States, 

2015-present:

  • Tamara Reynolds, The Ohio State University, Transgenerational effects of advanced maternal age on fertility of offspring,
  • Hayley Winslow, The Ohio State University, Pre- and Post-Test Parent Perceptions of Genetic Testing for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, 

2014-present:
  • Alexandra Ilacqua, The Ohio State University, Alzheimer's Disease Development in Adults with Down Syndrome: A Caregiver's Perspective,
  • The Ohio State University, 
  • Nicole Lahner, The Ohio State University, Assessment of Genetic Provider and Parent Communication Patterns in Genetic Counseling Sessions,

2012-present:
  • The Ohio State University, 

2015:
  • Karin Wagner, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Genetic Testing: A Perspective from the ALS Community,

2012:
  • Theodora Jackson, Case Western Reserve University – Graduated 2012, An Assessment of the Health, Social and Daily Living Skills of Adults with Down Syndrome, 

2009-2010:
  • Amy Garrison, Sarah Lawrence College – Graduated 2010, Consumer Knowledge and Attitudes: Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) and Genetic Discrimination

2008-2009:

  • Kate Zebatto, Midwestern University – Graduated 2009, Utilization of Genetic Resources by Family Practice PAs: A Research Project, 

Contact

Division of Human Genetics

Amy Ehrlich
Division Administrator
Amy.Ehrlich@osumc.edu
Phone: 614-293-7775
Fax: 614-293-2314

Division’s office:
2012 Kenny Rd. Rm. 250
Columbus, OH 43221

Schedule an appointment: 614-293-6694