Imagining a Vision for Genetic Medicine

01.01.17

Over 4 decades of Compassionate Care and State-of-the-Art Technology

Think about the impact of genetics on today’s healthcare. You can hardly go a day without seeing news of a novel gene for a common disease or a clinical
trial for a genetic disorder. Now think back to 1974 (or imagine it, if you’re under 35 J). Back then, genetics was little more than a minor medical
sub-specialty, diagnosing diseases few had heard of, and with little hope for treatments or cures.

The Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) opened its doors in 1974,under the leadership of two visionary co-founders, Roger Stevenson, MD and Hal Taylor,
PhD, and with two guiding principles – offer the best most compassionate care and provide state-of-the-art technology. GGC began with support from
the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, who in 1974 had the vision that in order to prevent or treat disabilities, they
must be understood. They realized, even back then, that genetics was going to provide that understanding.

Now, 43 years later, GGC still operates under those founding principles of compassion and innovation, and we still ardently work to diagnose patients
with both ultra-rare and common complex disorders, but what has changed are the dramatic advances in the field of genetics led by our scientists
and colleagues around the world.

Hundreds of patients each year are served by our metabolic genetics treatment program, offering proven therapies to treat or prevent serious disabilities
and health issues.

Every single year, seventy babies in South Carolina are born free of birth defects of the brain and spine thanks to GGC’s Birth Defect Prevention Program.

GGC’s commitment to providing hope for families impacted by genetic disorders has led to the creation of the Center for Translational Research, which
is leading the way in developing clinical trials.

Researchers at GGC are working to fundamentally transform the diagnosis of autism with the development of a blood-based test and work toward treatment trials.

GGC’s Division of Education provides outreach genetic education to students from middle school through
post-graduate training, encouraging students to pursue careers in the sought-after and highly rewarding field of medical genetics.

In 1974, few people would have imagined the fundamental changes in medicine that would occur thanks to the field of genetics. Dr. Stevenson and Dr.
Taylor imagined it. The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs imagined it. And because of them, two generations have now
benefitted from compassionate clinical care, enhanced diagnostic testing, cutting-edge research,
and innovative educational programs.

The Gene Scene will share the stories of families, scientists, and innovations that have made these past 43 years so exciting, so
rewarding, and so impactful, and are making the future so promising. Welcome to The Gene Scene.

Lucy's Story

When our daughter Lucy had a metabolic crisis at 7 days old, we were shocked and devastated to find out that she was born with a rare genetic disorder (MSUD). Her newborn screening results did not make it back in time to prevent the crisis, and no one at our local hospital was familiar with the disease. They did not know how to treat her. Calls were made to Greenwood Genetic Center to confirm her diagnosis and guide her care. Dr. Champaigne and Ami...

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