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Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship (JEMF)

The Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship (JEMF), established in 1991 as a highly prestigious award of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, is an ongoing tribute to Jane Engelberg, who graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1973 with a master's degree in human genetics. During her 15-year career as a genetic counselor, Jane developed expertise in counseling patients on issues related to hemophilia and prenatal diagnosis. In response to the special needs of Spanish-speaking clients, Jane became a bilingual genetic counselor. The human qualities of insight, compassion, and dedication will always be associated with Jane. She worked tirelessly until her death in 1988 from complications of Hodgkin's disease. 

The JEMF is funded by the Engelberg Foundation, established by Jane's husband, Alfred B. Engelberg. The Engelberg Foundation is a charitable trust that supports a wide range of activities in the fields of healthcare, science, and education. On the 25th anniversary, the Engelberg Foundation gave a $1.5 million gift to permanently endow the award and ensure the ongoing support of genetic counseling research.  


The objectives of the JEMF are to advance the field of genetic counseling by providing support for research and promoting the professional development of awardees. This is essential as the profession responds to changes in genetics, health care, policy and the ethical, legal and social dimensions of genomic medicine. 

The JEMF aims to fund research projects that:

  • Develop innovative approaches and/or service delivery models for genetic counseling practice;
  • Improve access to genetic counseling among underserved populations
  • Address an unmet need of a specific client population or populations
  • Promote growth and competence in students and practicing genetic counselors 
  • Build a more diverse and inclusive workforce 


The Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship (JEMF) provides support for research by genetic counselors, promotes individual professional development, and drives innovation in the field of genetic counseling. 

JEMF Awards Information 




Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the mission of the JEMF?

The mission of the Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship (JEMF) is to provide support for scholarly endeavors, enable individual professional development, and drive innovation in the field of genetic counseling.

What are the research priorities of the JEMF?

The JEMF prioritizes research that:
  • develops innovative approaches and/or service delivery models for genetic counseling practice,
  • improves access to genetic information and services, especially among underserved populations,
  • promotes growth and competence in students, genetic counselors, and the genetic counseling profession,
  • builds a more diverse and inclusive workforce, and/or
  • addresses an unmet need of a specific client population or populations.

What awards does the JEMF offer?

The JEMF offers three different awards. Two are grants to support research (i.e. the full member research award and student thesis award), and the third is a manuscript award for publications of student thesis projects. Specific FAQs related to each award may be found within this document.

Can the JEMF Advisory Group (AG) help me determine if my idea is in scope with JEMF priorities?

The JEMF AG has a policy not comment upon the appropriateness of specific ideas prior to submission to ensure we can review all applications fairly. Our stated research priorities can be found above. We can, however, help you identify an application advisor well suited for your project. This is a person who either recently served on the JEMF Advisory Group and/or held a JEMF award in the past and is familiar with our review criteria and funding priorities.

Who is on the JEMF Nominating Committee?

The Chair of the Nominations Committee is a JEMF Advisory Group (AG) member who is rolling off. In addition, at least one member must be a prior JEMF grant recipient. Remaining members of the nominating committee must be full members of NSGC and board-certified by the ABGC. JEMF Advisory Group appoints the 5-member Nominating Committee (NC). If you are interested to serve on this Committee, please notify the JEMF Chair.

How do I apply to be on the JEMF Advisory Group (AG)?

The JEMF AG is included in the NSGC’s Call for Volunteers that occurs in early Fall. Candidates must be board-certified in genetic counseling and members of NSGC in good standing. Interested ABGC-certified individuals submit a CV and completed application.

Advisory Group

Current Members

  • Sara Fitzgerald Butt, MS CGC, Chair (2020-2024)
  • Sharon Aufox, MS, CGC, Chair-Elect (2021-2025)
  • Cindy James, PhD, CGC, Finance Officer (2022-2026)
  • Carrie Atzinger, MS, CGC, Secretary (2022-2026)
  • Colleen Caleshu, MS, LCGC, Information Officer (2023-2027)
  • Adam Buchanan, MS, MPH, LCGC (2021-2025)
  • Yue Guan, ScM, PhD, CGC (2021-2025)
  • Leila Jamal, ScM PhD CGC (2020 - 2024)
  • Emily Edelman, MS, CGC (2024 - 2028)
  • Karlla Brigatti,  MS, CGC (2024 - 2028)

Past Members

  • Audrey Heimler, MS, Founding Board, Chair 1991-1999, Executive Chair, 2000-2002
  • Ed Kloza, MS (1991-1993)
  • Karen Greendale, MA (1991-1994)
  • Judith Benkendorf, MS (1991-1995)
  • Barbara Bowles Biesecker, MS (1991-1996)
  • Barbara Bernhardt, MS (1993-1997)
  • Joseph McInerney, MS (1994-1998)
  • Bonnie Jeanne Baty, MS (1995-1999)
  • Katherine A. Schneider, MPH (1996-2000)
  • Robin L. Bennett (1997-2002, Chair 1999-2001)
  • Joan Scott (1998-2000)
  • Ann C.M. Smith, MA, DSc (hon) (1999-2004)
  • Melissa Lenihan, MS (2003 - 2004) (NSGC Liaison)
  • Andrew W. Faucett, MS (2000-2005, Chair 2002-2004)
  • Wendy Uhlmann, MS (2001-2006, Secretary 2001-2003)
  • Emily Burkett, MS (2005-2006) (NSGC Liaison)
  • Elizabeth Gettig, MS (2001-2007, Chair 2005-2007)
  • Kathy Valverde, MS (2002-2008)
  • Steve Keiles (2007-2008) (NSGC Liaison)
  • Michelle Fox, MS (2003-2009)
  • Toni Pollin, PhD (2005-2009)
  • Jill Stopfer, MS (2006-2011)
  • Caroline Lieber, MS, NSGC Board Liaison (2009 - 2011)
  • Christina Palmer, PhD, Chair (2007-2012)
  • Kevin Sweet, MS, Chair (2008-2013)
  • Laura Conway, PhD, MS, Chair (2009-2014)
  • Jehannine Austin, PhD, Secretary (2009-2014)
  • Kelly Ormond, MS, Chair (2010-2015)
  • Don Hadley, MS (2010-2014)
  • Amy Cronister, NSGC Board Liaison (2012-2014)
  • Leslie Evans, MS CGC (2011-2016)
  • Maureen Smith, MS CGC (2011-2016)
  • Daniel Riconda,  NSGC Board Liaison (2015-2016)
  • Melanie Myers, Chair, PhD MS LGC (2012-2017) 
  • Dawn Allain, Chair (2014 - 2018)
  • Lauren Morgenroth, MS CGC (2014-2019)  
  • Gillian Hooker, MS CGC (2015-2019)
  • Beverly Yashar, PhD MS CGC (2015-2020)
  • Erin Linnenbringer, PhD MS CGC (2017-2021)
  • Sarah Kalia, ScM CGC (2017-2021)
  • John Quillin, PhD MPH MS CGC (2018-2022)
  • Flavia Facio, MS, Chair (2019 - 2023)
  • Susan Estabrooks Hahn, MS CGC (2019 - 2023)