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Genetic Services

Genetics Team

Medical Director

Genetic Counselors

Harvey J. Stern, MD, PhD, FACMG, FAAP joined GIVF in 1995 and is the Director of Genetics and the Fetal Diagnostic Center. Dr. Stern has extensive experience in the evaluation of congenital malformations in the fetus and newborn and in diagnosis of genetic syndromes. He is the primary physician involved in providing amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, first trimester screening, and ultrasound for GIVF’s prenatal genetics program. Dr. Stern is Medical Director of Fairfax Cryobank and of GIVF’s Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) program. He also supervises genetic screening for GIVF’s egg donors and for Fairfax Cryobank’s sperm donors. Fairfax Cryobank is a division of the Genetics & IVF Institute. Dr. Stern also oversees GIVF’s Endocrinology Laboratory.

Dr. Stern is board certified in pediatrics and medical genetics, with subspecialty board certification in clinical, biochemical and molecular genetics. He received his undergraduate degree in cell and molecular biology from Columbia College of Columbia University and completed a PhD in Human Genetics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He attended medical school at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. After a residency in pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, Dr. Stern completed a fellowship in medical genetics at UCLA.

Between 1987 and 1995, Dr. Stern was an attending physician in Medical Genetics and Laboratory Medicine at Children’s National Medical Center, where he established the Biochemical Genetics Laboratory and the first molecular (PCR) based genetic diagnostic laboratory in a pediatric hospital. Currently, Dr. Stern is an Associate Professor of Human Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University where he teaches a course in medical genetics.

He also teaches medical students in obstetrics and gynecology at Fairfax Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia. Dr. Stern is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American College of Medical Genetics, and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. He also has been elected to the International Fetoscopy Group, a highly selective and prestigious group of physicians known for their exceptional skills in prenatal diagnosis and genetic medicine. Watch his online video here.

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Mary C. Sands, MS, CGC, CLSp(CG) joined the Genetics & IVF Institute in 2004. She interned at University Hospitals of Cleveland and received a Master of Science in Genetics from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio . Prior to her experience in the genetic counseling field, Mary earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the College of Wooster in 1997, and certification as a Clinical Laboratory Specialist in Cytogenetics in 1999.

She brings unique clinical expertise from past training and employment at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, including laboratory proficiency, instruction, and supervisory responsibilities of their Prenatal Cytogenetics Laboratory. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, where she has presented original research in the field of reproductive medicine.