Our Genetics Team

Our Genetics Team


The team members of The Harvey Institute for Human Genetics provide expertise in reproductive, clinical, pediatric, adult, cancer and laboratory genetics. The staff includes four physicians, board-certified in their primary specialty and in three disciplines of genetics, and three board-certified/eligible genetic counselors. The registered diagnostic medical sonographers and laboratory technologists are uniformly certified in their field. Experienced office staff members are able to assist in scheduling appointments, answering insurance questions and collecting records prior to visits when needed. The staff also makes genetic education available, not only to patients, families and health-care professionals but also to the community.

All doctoral-level staff members of the Institute are accredited in their respective specialties and sub-specialties by the American Boards of Medical Genetics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and/or Pediatrics. Genetic counselors are accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. The cytogenetics laboratory is accredited by College of American Pathologists, and its personnel are certified by Association of Genetic Technologists.

Natalie Blagowidow, MD Natalie Blagowidow, MD
Medical Director

Dr. Blagowidow received her MD degree from Cornell University Medical College, NY. Her residency training was in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. Dr. Blagowidow pursued specialty training as a Fellow in Reproductive Genetics and Human Genetics, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and in the Division of Human Genetics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Blagowidow is board-certified in both clinical genetics and clinical cytogenetics. She is also a Founding Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics.

Dr. Blagowidow's clinical specialties include assessment of pregnancy by ultrasound including Doppler flow and 3D imaging and by invasive testing including CVS and amniocentesis.


Clair A. Francomano, MD Clair A. Francomano, MD
Director, Adult Genetics

Dr. Francomano received her undergraduate degree at Yale University and her medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She trained in internal medicine and medical genetics at Johns Hopkins and joined the full-time Hopkins faculty in 1984. Dr. Francomano has held positions as chief of the Medical Genetics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health and chief of the Human Genetics and Integrative Medicine Section in the Laboratory of Genetics, National Institute on Aging.

She is board-certified in internal medicine, clinical genetics and clinical molecular genetics. She is a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Human Genetics and the American College of Clinical Research. She is a founding fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics.

In 2008, Dr. Francomano was named "Baltimore's Best Medical Geneticist" by Baltimore Magazine. Her interests include hereditary disorders of connective tissue and skeletal dysplasias.


Antonie (Tonie) D. Kline, MD Antonie (Tonie) D. Kline, MD
Director, Pediatric Genetics

Dr. Kline received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa., her postdoctoral training in medical genetics at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa., her clinical cytogenetics training at the Kennedy Krieger Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md. She is board-certified in clinical genetics, clinical cytogenetics and clinical molecular genetics. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a Founding Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics.

Dr. Kline is the medical director of the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation and a member of the professional advisory board of the 5p- Society. Her areas of expertise include evaluation of multiple birth defects and/or developmental issues, as well as correlation and interpretation of cytogenetic changes in a clinical setting.


Marcia Ferguson, MGC Marcia Ferguson, MGC
Genetic Counselor, Prenatal Diagnostic Center and Pediatric Genetics

Ms. Ferguson received a bachelor's degree in sociology at Kent State University, Ohio. She received her master's degree in Genetic Counseling from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. She previously held a position as the prenatal genetic counselor for area Medstar Hospitals. Ms. Ferguson serves on the Greater Baltimore Cleft Lip and Palate Team. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and is board-certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.


Shama Jari, MD Shama Jari, MD
Reproductive Geneticist, Harvey Institute for Human Genetics

Dr. Jari received her medical degree from The University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Mich. She completed her residency training in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md. Following her residency, Dr. Jari undertook specialty training as a Fellow in Medical Genetics in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Magee Women's Hospital, University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Jari is a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Board of Medical Genetics and is board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Clinical Genetics. She is also a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well as the American Society of Human Genetics and the American College of Medical Genetics.

Her clinical interests include prenatal genetic counseling and pregnancy screening. In addition, she specializes in assessment of pregnancy by ultrasound including Doppler flow and by invasive testing including CVS and amniocentesis.


Amy Kimball, MS, CGC Amy Kimball, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor, Prenatal Diagnostic Center and Pediatric Genetics

Ms. Kimball received a bachelor's degree in biology, with honors, from St. Mary's College of Maryland, St. Mary's City, Md. She received her master's degree in genetic counseling from Arcadia University, Glenside, Pa., where she was a Distinguished Graduate. She has previously held positions as a prenatal genetic counselor at Greater Washington MFM and Genetics, in Rockville, Md. Ms. Kimball is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and is a clinical advisory board member of the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation. She is board-certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.


Christy L. Haakonsen, ScM, CGC Christy L. Haakonsen, ScM, CGC
Genetic Counselor

Ms. Haakonsen obtained her bachelor's degree in biological psychology, with distinction, from Pennsylvania State University. She received her Masters of Science degree in Genetic Counseling from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) genetic counseling program. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and is a certified genetic counselor by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. She specializes in genetic counseling for hereditary cancer risk assessment and is also active in the adult clinical genetics program, working closely with Dr. Clair Francomano.


Greater Baltimore Medical Center | 6701 North Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21204 | (443) 849-2000 | TTY (800) 735-2258
© 2014  GBMC. This website is for informational purposes only and not intended as medical advice or a substitute for a consultation with a professional healthcare provider.