Susan Shehayeb, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor

City of Hope

Susan Shehayeb, MS, CGC, is a licensed board-certified genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics. She has a Master’s of Science degree in genetic counseling from University of California Irvine. Previous to completing her master’s degree, Ms. Shehayeb earned her bachelor’s degree in molecular, cell and developmental biology from University of California Los Angeles. Ms. Shehayeb joined the City of Hope Division of Clinical Cancer Genomics in 2017, having previously undergone clinical training at City of Hope. She is fluent in Arabic and is in the process of achieving fluency in Spanish. She has participated in the training of genetic counseling students from multiple programs, including assuming the role of rotation supervisor. Ms. Shehayeb's clinical role has centered on widening patient access to genetic counseling and testing throughout the City of Hope network as the lead genetic counselor for the City of Hope | South Pasadena site. Her past research investigated lifestyle choices in the context of genetic counseling and genetic testing for cancer risk. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the Southern California Genetic Counselors.

Lauren Gima, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor

City of Hope

Lauren Gima, MS, CGC is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor at City of Hope in Duarte, CA where she specializes in clinical cancer genomics. She earned her MS degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University and BS degree in Human Biology from University of California San Diego. Her primary clinical responsibilities include providing cancer genetic counseling services for City of Hope’s patient population. She is a clinical rotation supervisor for students of the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) Genetic Counseling program, the University of California Irvine Genetic Counseling program, and the University of California Los Angeles Genetic Counseling program. She also serves as a community mentor for the KGI Genetic Counseling program, providing ongoing support and guidance for new genetic counseling students. Lauren is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Gastrointestinal Cancers, the Southern California Genetic Counselors, and the Minority Genetics Professionals Network.

Rachelle Manookian, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor

City of Hope

Rachelle Manookian, M.S., C.G.C., is a board-certified genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics. She has a special interest in prostate and genitourinary cancers. She has an M.S. in genetic counseling from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and a B.S. in biological sciences with a focus in neurobiology from University of California Irvine, as well as minors in Spanish literature and cognitive psychology. Manookian joined City of Hope’s Division of Clinical Cancer Genomics in April 2019. Prior to City of Hope, she was a general adult genetic counselor at the Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center, where she served veterans across four VA hospitals in Southern California. Every summer, Manookian volunteers as a one-on-one counselor at Camp Sunshine during their Fanconi Anemia week. She has previous experience volunteering with victims of domestic violence, and is a California state certified domestic violence advocate. She also has special interests in education and bioethics, and her past research investigated the intersection of disability advocacy groups and prenatal genetic counseling sessions.

Deanna Erwin, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor, Interim Supervisor

Deanna Erwin MS, CGC, is a licensed, board-certified genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics. She has a Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Her primary clinical focus is providing risk assessment and genetic counseling services to individuals concerned about hereditary cancer risks. Ms. Erwin joined the City of Hope Division of Clinical Cancer Genomics in 2019, and previously worked as a genetic counselor at the Baylor College of Medicine Adult Genetics Clinic in Houston, TX. She is an active member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Access and Service Delivery Committee. As part of her role in NSGC, she has contributed to multiple resources designed to increase provider efficiency and access to genetic counselors.

Elyssa Zukin, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor

City of Hope

Elyssa Zukin, MS, CGC is a licensed genetic counselor at City of Hope specializing in cancer genetics. She has a Master of Science degree in genetic counseling from the University of California, Irvine. Prior to completing her master’s degree, Zukin earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a minor in Italian.

Zukin joined City of Hope in 2020 as part of the Center for Precision Medicine. She previously underwent clinical training with several of the Precision Medicine clinicians at the USC Norris Cancer Hospital. Prior to her clinical training, she spent one year working at the USC Norris Cancer Hospital enrolling patients in a precision medicine research study.

Zukin’s role at City of Hope will involve participation in the development of the Precision Medicine Program, which aims to use genetics to guide cancer treatment and prevention. Her past research investigated the implications on clinical care when patients are found to carry genetic variants in genes associated with hereditary cancer syndromes that have conflicting interpretations by different genetics laboratories.

Elise Sobotka, MS, MPH, CGC

Genetic Counselor

City of Hope

Elise Sobotka, MS, MPH, CGC is a genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics. She has a Master of Science in genetic counseling and a Master of Public Health in health management and policy from the University of Michigan. Prior to graduate school, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology and German Studies from Brandeis University. Sobotka joined the City of Hope Center for Precision Medicine in July 2020 after graduating from University of Michigan. Her graduate research focused on understanding barriers to cancer genetic services for underserved populations and eliciting ideas for interventions to increase uptake. In addition to access to genetic services, her special interests also include alternative service delivery models, genetic testing and genetic privacy policies, and the intersection of public health and genetic counseling.

Jasmine Alcantara, BS

Clinical Genetics Assistant

City of Hope

Jasmine Alcantara, BS has been at City of Hope since February, 2021and has recently graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with her BS in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and a minor in Environmental Systems and Society. She has had experience working as a counselor and program coordinator for one of UCLA’s student retention programs, as an undergraduate researcher in environmental science and microbial genomics, and most recently, as a COVID-19 Case Investigator for Orange County. In her role at City of Hope, she supports clinical operations and patient communication for both Clinical Genetics and the Precision Medicine Program.

John Luna, MS

Education Assistant

City of Hope

John Luna, MS is an Education Assistant for the Cancer Genetics Education Program at City of Hope. He earned his Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences from Rosalind Franklin University and his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Southern California. He has experience as a volunteer in STEM education outreach, a research assistant in an inorganic chemistry laboratory, and a medical scribe in an urgent care. At City of Hope, John assists with developing the CCGCoP Portal and administering the Intensive and Self Paced courses.

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