Program Leadership

Gretchen Schneider, MS, CGC, Director

Gretchen Sneider, Director

I received my Master’s in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College in 1992 and began my career at Boston Children’s Hospital, where I coordinated the Neurofibromatosis Program and saw patients in the General Genetics Clinic. In 1999, I joined a new genetics initiative through Partners HealthCare where I transitioned from patient care to genetic education, serving as the Assistant Director of Educational Activities before joining the Brandeis faculty in 2008. I have been involved with the Brandeis Program since its inception-first as a clinical supervisor, thesis committee member and lecturer and most recently as Co-Director of Clinical Training. As Program Director, my roles include overseeing first year fieldwork, coordinating a course on laboratory testing, co-teaching Clinical Genetics II with Dr. Joan Stoler, working with second-year students on professional development, and serving as a thesis advisor while continuing to the high quality training that has defined this Program since it began in 1992. My contributions to the profession include being a founding member of the Massachusetts Board of Registration (Licensure) of Genetic Counselors, serving on the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) Exam Eligibility Task Force and being a member of the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD) where I have served on the Nominating Committee and the Clinical Training Work Group. I also have a long-standing interest in promoting genetic counseling as a profession and have presented to local high school students on genetic counseling as a career, spoken on “The Modern Era of Genomic Testing” during the Brandeis University Global Youth Summit on the Future of Medicine, participated in a Life Sciences Career Panel for graduate and undergraduate students at Brandeis, and contributed to a panel discussion on applying to graduate school at the NE Regional Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Conference.

Hetal Vig, MS, MGC, Associate Director

Vig Hetal, Associate Director

I received my Master’s in Human Genetics (1999) as well as Master’s in Genetic Counseling (2001) from the University of Maryland School of Medicine at Baltimore. I have worked in clinical cancer genetics for over 18 years. My previous roles include genetic counselor and Associate Director of Gastrointestinal Risk Assessment program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, genetic counselor manager at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and recently senior genetic counselor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

As Associate Program Director at Brandeis University, my roles include teaching Introduction to Genetic Counseling, managing all aspects of first-year observations and second-year student internships, and advising student thesis projects. I have been involved in the education and training of genetic counselors for over 10 years.  As a member of the Executive Leadership committee at Rutgers University, I was involved in initiation and development of the new Rutgers Master’s of Genetic Counseling graduate program. I served course director for Clinical cancer genetic courses at both Arcadia University as well as Rutgers University.

My professional and community service contributions include: Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling Program Review member, NSGC Alternate Service Delivery Taskforce member, professional advisory board member of Cancer Support Community of Central New Jersey, and recently member of the NSGC Pathways to Genetic taskforce. In addition to my clinical and education experience, I have a long- standing research interest in innovative genetic counseling service delivery models, which have resulted in peer-reviewed publications.


Joan Stoler, MD, Medical Director

joan-stolerI am a Board Certified Clinical Geneticist and have been working in clinical practice for over twenty years with expertise in many areas including dysmorphology, teratogenic exposures, connective tissue disorders and craniosynostoses. I am currently Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and a staff physician at Children’s Hospital, Boston where I see patients in the General Genetics, Cleft Lip and Palate and Craniofacial Clinics. I am also the Director of both the Harvard Medical School Genetics Training Program and the Medical Genetics Residency, on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics and a Member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Genetics. I have been involved with the Brandeis Genetic Counseling Program since 2002 when I began as the Medical Director and Co-Teacher of the two semester Clinical Genetics course.