About five to ten percent of common cancers, such as breast and colon cancer, are inherited or run in families. People with an inherited predisposition tend to develop specific types of cancer at an earlier age than usual, are at increased risk of developing two or more tumors and may be at risk for developing more than one type of cancer. In addition, their relatives may also have an increased risk of cancer. The Cancer Genetic Counseling Service identifies individuals and families with an inherited predisposition to cancer and offers information about the nature and magnitude of their risk. Thoughtful discussions regarding the benefits and limitations of genetic testing are also provided. Identification of those with an inherited predisposition to cancer leads to increased cancer surveillance and a discussion of risk reduction strategies.
Michael Simon, MD, MPH. Dr. Simon is the Multidisciplinary Breast Team Leader and the Director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service. He obtained his MD from the University of Illinois and Master's of Public Health (Epidemiology) from the University of Michigan . He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the University of Michigan and is board-certified in both. Dr. Simon's research interests include identifying factors that affect racial and ethnic differences in cancer screening, risk and mortality and is active in using the Women's Health Initiative dataset to address cancer related questions. He recently received the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation 2012 McDevitt Excellence in Research Award in the area of clinical research.
Nancie Petrucelli, MS, CGC. Ms. Petrucelli is the Coordinator and Senior Genetic Counselor of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. She received her Master of Science at the University of Cincinnati and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. Prior to her arrival at Karmanos, she began her genetic counseling career at the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven and then developed the Cancer Genetics Program at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and has served as co-chair of the National Society of Genetic Counselors Cancer Special Interest Group. She has also served as co-chair of the Michigan Cancer Genetics Alliance and was a member of the Michigan Cancer Consortium, Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Management Task Force. She is actively involved in both education and research, as she is an instructor at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and has published independent research.
Courtney Kokenakes, MS, CGC. Ms. Kokenakes is a genetic counselor with the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute where she provides genetic counseling to individuals at risk for hereditary cancer syndromes. She received her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling from Wayne State University in 2016. During her time in graduate school, she was a member of the Michigan Biotrust Community Values Advisory Board where she was involved with decision-making related to the state’s newborn dried blood spots and educating the public about the Biotrust. Ms. Attard previously worked for the University of Michigan as a research technician and lab manager in a neurology laboratory that studied metabolism. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Her current research interests include workflow and time analysis studies in clinical genetics settings.
Rachel Reagle, MS, CGC. Ms. Reagle is a Genetic Counselor with the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. Rachel received her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Michigan-Flint in 2014. She graduated from the Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2016 with her Masters in Genetic Counseling and began at Karmanos in June 2016. She has always been very interested in cancer genetics, working as a volunteer and student intern in a cancer genetics setting while pursuing both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Rachel also had the opportunity investigate cascade testing in cancer genetics as a part of her graduate research. She is also looking forward to providing genetic counseling to many different communities by traveling to McLaren satellite clinics throughout Michigan.
Kristian Wilks, MS. Mr. Wilks is a genetic counselor with the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. Kristian received his Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Molecular Genomics from Michigan State University in 2018. He graduated from the Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2020 with his Masters in Genetic Counseling and began at Karmanos in August 2020. Kristian previously worked for a neuroscience laboratory at Michigan State University studying socialization and development of the brain. He is excited to provide genetic counseling to the diverse communities of Michigan as a part of the Karmanos team, and to further add to research and outreach aimed at helping those with hereditary cancer syndromes. His current research interests include communication patterns of genetic test results within families and technology usage by patients in a clinical genetics setting.
Genetic Counseling Graduate Program
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics
Wayne State University School of Medicine
2375 Scott Hall
540 E. Canfield Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
Fax: (313) 577-9137