Dr. Julianne S. Collins (1969-2011)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dr. Julianne S. Collins, Associate Research Scientist, on September 23, 2011 following an extended illness. Dr. Collins was an accomplished researcher and epidemiologist, inspiring mentor and beloved member of the GGC family.

Originally from Coffee Creek, California, Dr. Collins joined the faculty of the Greenwood Genetic Center in 2000 after earning her PhD in Medical Genetics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Collins had a particular interest in intellectual disabilities and autism and authored numerous scientific publications on these topics. As a researcher she also had a passion for birth defects prevention working closely with the SC Birth Defects Foundation in promoting the benefits of folic acid in the prevention of neural tube defects. Her prevention efforts were recognized on a national level with the National Birth Defects Prevention Network's Distinguished Service Award in 2007 and their President's Award in 2009.

Inspiring the next generation of scientists was another of Dr. Collins' true callings. She served as a mentor for numerous undergraduate and graduate students as an adjunct faculty member at both Clemson University and the University of South Carolina.

Julianne was generous, compassionate and contagiously optimistic. She had the respect and admiration of all who had the privilege of knowing her as a colleague and a friend.

Julianne is survived by her husband, Bryan Wesson; her parents Rosalie and Ken Collins; her brother and sister-in-law Jim and Jennifer Collins with their two children Aidan and Ethan; her sister Joanna Collins; and her special friends Sasha Williams and Charlene Hughes.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 30, 2011 at 1:00 PM at Grace Community Church in Greenwood. Later that evening at 6:30 PM a Celebration of Julianne's life will be held in the main lobby of the JC Self Research Institute of the Greenwood Genetic Center.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Humane Society

South Carolina Birth Defects Foundation

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Lori Bassett, MS, CGC
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