Laboratory Internships

During their second year of training, genetic counseling students will spend approximately three weeks each in the Cytogenetics Laboratory and the Molecular Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory and one week in the Biochemical Genetics Laboratory.

Working with lab directors and staff, students will observe relevant lab procedures (testing methods, sample processing, perform relevant background readings, work through a case book containing typical examples of normal and abnormal test results, participate in laboratory meetings, practice interpreting laboratory results, and recognize the role of genetic counselors in utilization management. Students may also have the opportunity to contact providers to obtain information needed for test processing and/or interpretation. 



The Biochemical Genetics Laboratory at DMC University Laboratories provides confirmatory testing for inborn errors of metabolism, along with monitoring of the metabolic status of affected patients.

Our students learn about a variety of biochemical techniques like gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, enzyme assays and amino acid analysis. They work with the laboratory director to interpret biochemical lab results for patient care. They also learn about the process of abnormal newborn screening for metabolic conditions including a tour of the state newborn screening laboratory. 




The Cytogenetics Laboratory at DMCUL is one of the largest comprehensive university based diagnostic laboratories in Michigan. It specializes in chromosome analysis, cancer cytogenetics, chromosomal microarray analysis, and molecular diagnosis by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) serving over 4,000 patients each year.

Our students perform and observe all of the above cytogenetics techniques. They learn about sample processing, requirements and turnaround time. They work with the laboratory director to interpret the cytogenetic test results for use in patient case.



The Molecular Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory at DMCUL provides DNA and RNA-based molecular testing services for a wide variety of indications, including inherited genetic disorders, pharmacogenomic risk modification and molecular characterization of hematological and solid tumors.

Our students observe and perform a variety of laboratory techniques including DNA isolation, PCR, Sanger sequencing, RT-PCR, MLPA and Next-Generation Sequencing. They work with the laboratory director to interpret these test results for patient care using many variant interpretation tools. They work with the laboratory genetic counselor in utilization management making sure that the correct genetic testing is ordered for the correct patient at the correct time. 


Melissa Hicks, MS, CGC currently works for Detroit Medical Center University Laboratories (DMCUL) as a genetic counselor for the molecular genetics, cytogenetics, biochemical genetics, and sendout laboratories. Previously, she worked at Hutzel Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital of Michigan's Pediatric Genetics clinic, and Winnipeg Health Sciences Center in Canada. She received her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling at Wayne State University and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. 


Contact Information

Genetic Counseling Graduate Program
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics
Wayne State University School of Medicine
3127 Scott Hall
540 E. Canfield Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201

Administrative Office:
(313) 577-6298
Fax: (313) 577-9137