Jon Wolff, MD: President & Founder
Jon Wolff received his undergraduate education in chemistry as a College Scholar at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and received his M.D. from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He received his clinical training at the University of California-San Diego in Pediatrics and Medical Genetics under the tutelage of William Nyhan. While in San Diego, he was also a post-doctoral fellow at the Agouron Institute, where he developed molecular dynamic computer simulations to aid rational drug design. In 1988, he became an assistant professor of pediatrics and medical genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and eventually achieved full professorship. He then went on to become the head of the Division of Medical Genetics. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and is involved in genetic counseling education there.
As a physician-scientist, he has published several clinical studies describing diagnostic and therapeutic advances that have become the standard-of-care for several genetic disorders. He has also served as adviser on the State of Wisconsin’s Newborn Screening Program which has spearheaded innovative programs for detecting metabolic disorders and cystic fibrosis in newborns. He also led the Medical Genetics course for medical students and implemented new molecular modules in the course. Noteworthy is the way he innovated medical genetic education by bringing patients and families with genetic conditions into the classroom, an approach that is being adopted more broadly in other courses.
Jon Wolff was one of the pioneers in the early stages of gene therapy back in the 1980s, playing an important role in developing gene therapy for liver and brain disorders. Subsequently, he has played a leading role in the development of techniques to transfer genes and nucleic acids into cells using physical and chemical methods. Dr. Wolff and his colleagues discovered the benefits of injecting naked DNA into muscle, which led to the development of genetic vaccines. Wolff’s laboratory then found that the intravascular delivery of naked nucleic acids (hydrodynamic delivery) enables increases by several orders of magnitude in delivery efficiency, especially to the liver and muscle. He has over 150 scientific publications and 80 patents. He has served on the NIH-RAC, as a board member of the American Society of Gene Therapy (ASGT), on the editorial board of several gene/siRNA therapy journals, and as a scientific advisor to the French Muscular Dystrophy Association (AFM).
In 1995, he and his colleagues founded MirusBio Corporation, situated at the University Research Park in Madison, WI. At Mirus he lead a team that developed dynamic polyconjugates (DPCs), a new type of nanotechnology for transferring siRNA into cells of the body. The therapeutics division of Mirus Bio was acquired by Roche to form Roche Madison in October, 2008, and this division was subsequently acquired by Arrowhead Research Corporation.
Jon Wolff and his wife have four grown children, with whom he shares his enthusiasm for skiing and bicycling.
Katie Stoll, MS, CGC: Director of Clinical Services
Katie Stoll received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Colorado State University in 1998, and her Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from Brandeis University in 2003. She brings a diversity of clinical experience in the areas of prenatal, cancer, adult, and pediatric genetics. She has worked in a variety of settings including military healthcare systems, health maintenance organizations, community hospitals, outpatient clinics, and research.
Katie has been an active contributor to the profession of genetic counseling through her work with the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and participation in various projects developing educational tools for patients and providers regarding prenatal genetic tests.
At Genetic Support Foundation, Katie is focused on developing resources and programs to expand the availability of quality information about genetics, and to improve access to genetic counseling services. She is especially interested in the intersection of genetics with primary care. She is excited about identifying innovative ways to engage with patients and healthcare providers through telehealth, grassroots outreach, and education. Katie lives with her husband and two kids in Washington State. She loves gardening, kid’s weekend soccer games, and camping in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Austin McKittrick, MS, CGC: Genetic Counselor
Austin McKittrick hails from the plains of South Dakota. He migrated to Colorado to get his Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication and in Psychology at the University of Northern Colorado. After a lengthy academic break spent working primarily in healthcare, he enrolled in the genetic counseling program at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and graduated in 2014. Prior to starting at Genetic Support Foundation, he worked in prenatal genetics for Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR. Other areas of interest are cancer, education, fertility, personalized medicine, and pharmacogenomics.
Austin joined the Genetic Support Foundation in March of 2016 because he was inspired by the organization’s mission statement, and identified with the observation that there is a gap in information and education between the genetics community and providers and patients. With genetics being such a broad field, he appreciates the opportunities that the Genetic Support Foundation can offer to do work with many different areas.
In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, playing kickball and volleyball, camping, going to the beach, and probably watching way too much TV.
Amanda Mackison: Program Manager
Amanda Mackison received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Whitman College in 1997, and her Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown University in 2003. She worked as a Senior Analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office for the Education, Workforce, and Income Security Division in Washington, DC, and Boston, MA. In this role, she conducted audits of federal agencies and prepared audit reports on behalf of the U.S. Congress. Most recently she took a few years off to raise a family. Amanda lives in Washington state with her husband and three children. In her spare time she enjoys reading, baking, and making jam.
Heidi Lindh, MS, CGC
As a founder of GSF, Heidi Lindh has contributed significantly to laying the foundation for the organization. She was instrumental in the development of the website content, resources and educational tools produced by GSF. Heidi is a board-certified genetic counselor with over 10 years of clinical experience. She graduated with a BA in biology from Gustavus Adolphus College, summa cum laude, in 1998. After undergrad, she spent an internship year at the National Institutes of Health doing clinical research on the genetics of rheumatoid arthritis with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Heidi earned her master’s degree in genetic counseling at the University of Minnesota in 2001. Her areas of genetic counseling expertise include prenatal genetics and inborn errors of metabolism. She has been published in Genetics in Medicine and the Journal of Genetic Counseling.
Megan Frone, MS, CGC
Megan Frone has contributed her expertise in the area of cancer genetics to the development of the educational content on the GSF website. She received her Bachelors of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology from State University of New York (SUNY) Binghamton in 2008. She received her Masters in Genetic Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010, where she also was a graduate from the Virginia Leadership in Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (VA-LEND). Megan currently works at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) where she works in research whole exome sequencing initiatives as well as clinical genetics in several rare disease programs. Prior to working at the NIH, Megan worked in the Adult and Pediatric Cancer Genetics programs at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Megan is also the co-chair of the Health Information Technology SIG and co-Chair of the Pediatric Cancer Subcommittee of the Cancer Special Interest Group for the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC).
Board of Directors
Jon Wolff, MD: President & Founder, Genetic Support Foundation, Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine
Dan Bellissimo, PhD: Co-Director Clinical Genomics Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh
Jim Hagstrom, PhD: President of Mirus Bio LLC
Mark Johnson, JD