McManus ’20M Receives National Genetic Grant for Thesis on Cystic Fibrosis

By Caitlin Burns | November 14, 2019

Morgan McManus ’20M received a grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Special Interest Group of the National Society of Genetic Counselors to help fund her thesis, “Pregnancy, Genetic Counseling, and Cystic Fibrosis: Exploring the experiences and discussions between females with cystic fibrosis and their health care providers.” 

The competitive grant was open to both students and established genetic counselors who are conducting cystic fibrosis research. McManus’ project will explore how genetic counseling can fit into the family and pregnancy planning process for women with cystic fibrosis.

“Recent advances in treatments have led to increased life expectancies for individuals with cystic fibrosis and, subsequently, to new areas of research, including pregnancy planning,” said McManus. “The ultimate goal of this project is to help health care providers know the best point in pregnancy planning to refer their patient to a genetic counselor.”

McManus is working on her project with thesis mentors Kathy Valverde, associate professor and director of Genetic Counseling; Rebecca Mueller ’11M, genetic counselor at the Basser Center for BRCA at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center; Denis Hadjiliadis, program director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center at Penn Medicine; and Andrea H. Roe, physician in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn Medicine.