Introduction

Molecular Autopsy Implementation Expert Panel

Molecular Autopsy Implementation Expert Panel

Overview

The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (NYC OCME) and the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) delivered a virtual expert panel discussion focusing on the implementation of molecular autopsies. Dr. Yingying Tang, Director of the NYC OCME Molecular Genetics Laboratory, has developed and validated a series of genetics panels that the OCME utilizes to help inform the postmortem autopsy results. The Expert Panel occurred live on September 26, 2023 and featured a multi-disciplinary panel of experts including forensic pathologists, medical examiners, cardiologists, geneticists, genetic counselors, and cardiac geneticists. The panel consisted of a guided discussion about molecular autopsy implementation, sample strategy recommendations, policy and procedure considerations, and case submission recommendations. Additionally, the experts discussed how genetic analyses can help inform cause of death determinations and impact the lives of the next of kin. 

To highlight the success of molecular autopsy implementation at the NYC OCME and provide context on this emerging strategy prior to the Expert Panel, a series of five presentations are available for viewing. In the presentations, Dr. Jason Graham (Chief Medical Examiner, NYC OCME) highlighted implementing molecular autopsies, Dr. Michelle Stram (Senior Medical Examiner, NYC OCME) highlighted how postmortem genetic testing can help inform cause of death, Dr. Yingying Tang (Director of the Molecular Genetics Laboratory, NYC OCME) highlighted sampling strategies and possible results of molecular testing, Dr. Robert Marion (Co-Founder of the Montefiore Cardiogenetic Program) highlighted how molecular panels can impact the lives of the next of kin, and Sarah Saxton (Genetic Counselor of the Molecular Genetics Laboratory, NYC OCME) highlighted the role and impact of a genetic counselor in conveying the results to the next of kin.  

Some content in this event may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses or may not be appropriate for younger audiences. 

Molecular Autopsy Implementation at the New York City OCME

This virtual resource was made available on September 11, 2023 and the 5 pre-recorded presentations are archived to familiarize oneself with molecular autopsies and provide context for the expert panel discussion.

Bringing Molecular Autopsies to your Morgue
Presenter: Dr. Jason Graham

A Forensic Pathologist's Approach to Molecular Autopsy
Presenter: Dr. Michelle Stram

Molecular Panels and Sampling Strategies Part I & Part II
Presenter: Dr. Yingying Tang

How Molecular Panels Affect the Living: Tales from the Montefiore-Einstein CardioGenetics Clinic (MECC)
Presenter: Dr. Robert Marion

Postmortem Genetic Test Results & How to Communicate Them
Presenter: Sarah Saxton

Molecular Autopsy Implementation Expert Panel

This live virtual event originally occurred on September 26, 2023. It featured a multi-disciplinary panel experts including forensic pathologists, medical examiners, cardiologists, geneticists, genetic counselors, and cardiac geneticists.

Panelists

  • James Gill, M.D. | Chief Medical Examiner, Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
  • Jason Graham, M.D. | Chief Medical Examiner, New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner
  • Celine Gounder, M.D., ScM, FIDA | Editor-at-Large, Public Health at KFF Health News & CBS News Medical Contributor 
  • Susan Liebman, Ph.D. | Distinguished University Professor Emerita, University of Illinois at Chicago & Research Professor, Department of Pharmacology University of Nevada, Reno
  • Robert Marion, M.D. | Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women's Health, Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Kathryn Pinneri, M.D. | Director, Montgomery County (Texas) Forensic Services
  • Barbara A. Sampson, M.D., Ph.D. | Vice Chair for Strategic Laboratory Initiatives and Academic Affairs & Professor, Department of Pathology, Molecular, and Cell Based Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Sarah Saxton, CGC | Genetic Counselor, Molecular Genetics Laboratory, New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner
  • Monisha Sebastin, MS, CGC | Senior Genetic Counselor, Montefiore Medical Center
  • Michelle Stram, M.D., ScM | Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Forensic Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine & Senior Medical Examiner at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner
  • Yingying Tang, M.D., Ph.D., DABMGG | Director, Molecular Genetics Laboratory, New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner

Moderator

  • Erica Christensen, M.S. | Forensic Scientist, RTI International

Related Resources


Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence event was provided by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this event are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Contact us at ForensicCOE@rti.org with any questions and subscribe to our newsletter for notifications.


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