- Richard. Boles, MD, Medical Director
- Ngoc Minh D. Le, MD, Medical Consultant
- Christine Stanley, PhD, FACMG, Chief Lab Director
- Daniel E. Pineda-Alvarez, MD, FACMG Sr. Laboratory Director
- Stacey Wong, MS, LCGC, Clinical Product Manager
- Jelena Brezo, PhD, FACMG, MS, Laboratory Director, Clinical Genomics
- Libby Couchon MS, LCGC, Senior Clinical Genomics Manager
- Sarah Klemm MS, CGC, Genetic Counselor
- Jane Schuette, MS, CGC, Genetic Counselor
Richard Boles, MD
Dr. Boles completed medical school at UCLA, a pediatric residency at Harbor-UCLA, and a genetics fellowship at Yale. He is board certified in Pediatrics, Clinical Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics. Dr. Boles was a faculty member for 20 years at the Keck School of Medicine at USC and a practicing medical geneticist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He has been the Medical Director of Courtagen Life Sciences Inc. since its inception, and is also currently in private practice in Pasadena, California. For over two decades, Dr. Boles' clinical and research focus has been on genetic changes in genes involved in energy metabolism, and more recently ion channels, and their effects on the development of common functional disorders. Examples include pain syndromes, cyclic vomiting, depression, autism and SIDS. Dr. Boles practices the “bedside to bench to bedside” model of a physician-scientist, combining an active clinical practice with basic research into the underlying genetic predispositions leading to the same conditions. He has over 70 published papers, mostly in mitochondrial medicine. Dr. Boles joined Courtagen in order to facilitate the translation of the vast amounts of acquired genetic knowledge into applications that improve routine medical care.
Ngoc Minh D. Le, MD
Medical ConsultantDr. Le is an American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) certified pediatric neurologist who specializes in epilepsy, neurogenetics, and neurometabolism. He received his M.D. from Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Le trained in pediatric neurology at The Cleveland Clinic, and epilepsy and neurophysiology at Miami Children’s Hospital. At Miami Children’s Hospital, he was Co-director of the Neurogenetics / Neurometabolic Clinic, and the Ion Channel Epilepsy (Dravet Syndrome) Clinic. Dr. Le has also been a primary or contributing investigator on a number of FDA epilepsy drug and device studies.
Christine Stanley, PhD, FACMG
Chief Lab Director
Prior to joining Courtagen, Christine held the position of Genetics Director at Athena Diagnostics where she was responsible for the release over 300 diagnostic tests in the specialty areas of neurology, immunology, endocrinology and nephrology and multiple diagnostic platforms, which included chromosomal microarray (CMA), multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), DNA sequencing (advanced and Sanger), Southern Blot, western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Christine held a key role as the lead Director managing business development, marketing, reporting, variant scoring and interpretation of the key product lines of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY), and Congenital Hyperinsulinism (CHI).
While at Athena, Christine was named the “Best Quality Driver”, the company's first award in Quality Assurance for her process improvements directed at enhancing patient results and reports. She is also the recipient of multiple awards for academic excellence and is a Fellow of the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG).
Daniel E. Pineda-Alvarez, MD, FACMG
Senior Laboratory DirectorDr. Pineda-Alvarez completed his MD training at Universidad CES in Colombia, and received his medical genetics training at the NIH Medical Genetics and Genomic Medicine Training Program. He is board certified in Clinical Molecular Genetics and Cytogenetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG), and holds a leadership position in the Genomic Variants Workgroup for ClinGen (Clinical Genome Resource).
Daniel comes to Courtagen with 10 years of relevant experience in the fields of medical genetics and neuroscience. Prior joining Courtagen, he was the Associate Clinical Director of Cytogenomics at GeneDx where he led the analysis, clinical interpretation and reporting of copy-number variants as a component of multi-gene panels for diverse medical specialty areas, whole exome sequencing (WES), and chromosomal microarrays (CMA). Daniel was instrumental managing the laboratory and analysis operations, reporting, developing, launching and marketing a variety of cytogenetics and molecular genetics tests in the areas of oncology, cardiology, neurology, orphan disorders and maternal-fetal medicine.
Dr. Pineda-Alvarez was a recipient of an Intramural Post-Doctoral Training Award (IRTA) at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), NIH. During his pre and post-doctoral work, he studied the clinical manifestations, medical management and genetic basis of disorders that affect early human development and neurodevelopmental disorders, in particular, holoprosencephaly (HPE), VACTERL association and ADHD.
Jelena Brezo, PhD, FACMG, MS
Laboratory Director, Clinical Genomics
Jelena Brezo is a clinical molecular geneticist boarded by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics and a fellow of the of the American College of Medical Genetics. She is licensed as a laboratory director for genetic testing by the California and New York Departments of Health.
Jelena brings director-level reporting, management, and regulatory experiences from several non-profit and commercial laboratories in California and Massachusetts.
Jelena's areas of expertise center on the clinical interpretation and reporting for molecular diagnosis of inherited cancer, pharmacogenetics, and a number of recessive disorders. Jelena’s areas of interest are next-generation sequencing for molecular diagnosis and screening, genetic variant curation curriculum development, and applying data science tools in quality control and quality assurance programs in high-throughput laboratory settings.
Jelena received her Ph.D. from McGill University and trained in medical genetics at the University of Chicago and UCLA. Her publications have appeared in Molecular Psychiatry, Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, British Journal of Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, and Psychological Medicine.
She was a recipient of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship, a Genes, Environment, and Health Training Program Fellowship, and the McGill Human Genetics Department’s Award of Excellence.
Stacey Wong, MS, LCGC
Clinical Product Manager
Stacey Wong is a licensed and board-certified genetic counselor with over 15 years of experience in the clinical, research, and commercial laboratory settings. Prior to joining Courtagen, she was senior genetic counselor in the pediatric genetics clinic at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Her other experience includes genetic counseling and research coordination for the Lysosomal Storage Disease and Research Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she assisted with the phase 3 and 4 trials on Fabrazyme, prenatal genetic counseling with Genzyme Genetics, and genetic counseling for the Craniofacial and Spina Bifida multidisciplinary specialty clinics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Stacey has particular expertise in mitochondrial disease and has presented workshops on this topic at the National Society of Genetic Counselors annual education conference and the Mitochondrial Medicine Family meetings.
Stacey earned her masters of science in Genetic Counseling at California State University Northridge and her bachelors of science in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of California Los Angeles. She also has a masters degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Emperors College and was formerly a licensed acupuncturist.
Libby Couchon, MS, LCGC
Senior Clinical Genomics Manager
Libby Couchon is a licensed and board-certified genetic counselor with 15 years of experience in the clinical and commercial laboratory settings. Prior to joining Courtagen, she worked as a clinical genetics liaison at Transgenomic, Inc. and senior genetic counselor at GeneDx and Athena Diagnostics providing advanced clinical and educational support to medical professionals specializing in the areas of neurology, cardiology, endocrinology and nephrology. Her clinical experience includes genetic counseling for the General Genetics clinic and Cystic Fibrosis, Thrombophilia and Muscular Dystrophy multidisciplinary specialty clinics at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH.
Libby earned her masters of science in Genetic Counseling at the Medical College of Virginia of Virginia Commonwealth University and her bachelors of science in Bioengineering at Western New England College.
Sarah Klemm, MS, CGC
Sarah Klemm is a certified genetic counselor with 7 years of clinical experience. Prior to joining Courtagen, she was the supervisor for the medical genetics department at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI. She specialized in pediatric and general genetics. She also had experience in prenatal genetic counseling and pediatric multidisciplinary clinics.
Sarah earned her Master's of Science in Genetic Counseling at Wayne State University and her bachelors of science from the Lymann Briggs School Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University.
Jane Schuette, MS, CGC
Jane is a board certified genetic counselor with 20+ years of extensive clinical experience. Prior to joining Courtagen, she was Genetic Counselor and Program Manager in the Division of Pediatric Genetics, Metabolism & Genomic Medicine, at the University of Michigan Health System, and Clinical Instructor in the Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan School of Medicine, serving on the executive faculty for the genetic counseling training program. Previous positions include Senior Genetic Counselor and Clinic Coordinator in the Division of Medical Genetics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine where in addition to pediatric genetics, she was involved in carrier screening and reproductive genetics. Jane was co-editor of the first genetic counseling textbook, A Guide to Genetic Counseling.
Jane earned her Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling at Sarah Lawrence College and Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Psychology from Albion College.
GENETIC COUNSELING SERVICES
Courtagen offers both advanced diagnostic genetic testing via Next Generation sequencing techniques and access to a team of experienced, board-certified genetics professionals to assist you with the testing process.
In particular, our genetic counselors are available to physicians and healthcare providers to provide assistance with test selection, gathering and reviewing of appropriate clinical data, and interpretation of the test results. We also offer a report guide to help you navigate through each section of our report.
Click here for Courtagen's Report Resource Guide
With permission from the ordering physician, our genetic counselors are also made available to the patients and their families to help clarify the test results and discuss their implications.
To contact our genetic counselors directly email us.
Click here for information on ordering our tests
Click here for information regarding billing
Please note that Courtagen Diagnostics cannot disclose results directly to patients, and the results must be first discussed with the ordering healthcare provider. Additionally, discussions with genetic counselors will be limited to the results contained in the report.
For general information on obtaining genetic counseling, we recommend searching for a genetic counselor near you through the National Society of Genetic Counselors at www.nsgc.org. Genetic counselors can be searched by location, name, institution, or specialty.