Molecular Diagnostics Fellowship

The mission of the Molecular Diagnostics Fellowship program is to provide PhD scientists with comprehensive training in molecular diagnostics. Our unique program offers an opportunity to prepare individuals who may have a primarily research-focused background for a clinical career in molecular diagnostics.

Program description

The Molecular Diagnostics Fellowship is a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship program that allows PhD scientists to transition into a clinically-focused career path. The program includes training by a world-renowned faculty in the department’s state-of-the-art Clinical Genomics and Advanced Technology (CGAT) Laboratory.

The CGAT Laboratory, directed by Dr. Gregory Tsongalis, performs a vast array of DNA- and RNA-based testing that supports various clinical services throughout the Dartmouth Health system as well as a wide range of ongoing research programs.

Fellows gain experience working in a clinical laboratory setting where genetic, infectious disease, oncology, and hematology testing is performed using a variety of PCR, real-time PCR, microarray and next-generation sequencing platforms.

Fellows’ training includes clinical testing with increasing responsibilities related to the operation and oversight of a clinical molecular laboratory. This training includes:

  • Participation in the development and validation of clinical laboratory-developed tests
  • Preparing quality and proficiency testing data to meet the various regulatory needs of the laboratory according to standards set by CLIA and the College of American Pathologists
  • Reviewing molecular reports before sign-out

While the main focus of this training program is clinical molecular testing, a significant portion of this two-year fellowship will be spent on independent and collaborative research.

Fellows are expected to demonstrate academic productivity by publishing in peer-reviewed journals and assisting in the education of technologists, residents, and other fellows through presentations at various lectures series, as well as one-on-one instruction for other trainees rotating through the laboratory.

Completion of the two-year fellowship training program will provide the fellow with in depth experiences in clinical laboratory medicine and will prepare the fellow with the necessary prerequisites to qualify for board eligibility from the American Board of Clinical Chemistry.

Program goals

During the course of the two-year Molecular Diagnostics program fellows are expected to:

  • Develop a deep understanding of the role of molecular testing in the clinical care of patients.
  • Develop basic professional skills needed for successful careers in clinical molecular diagnostics.
  • Gain adequate exposure to a wide scope of molecular diagnostic techniques and applications within the fields of genetics, genomics, oncology, and infectious diseases.
  • Learn the regulatory requirements for performing clinical testing including those defined by CLIA and CAP.
  • Participate in clinical and/or translation research projects that lead to peer reviewed publications.
  • Participate in the development, validation and implementation of clinical molecular tests.
  • Refine their teaching skills through various opportunities to present within departmental lectures and one-on-one or small group teaching and training.