Kimberly Zayhowski, MS, CGC
Assistant Professor
Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences
Dept of Genetic Counseling Program

MS, Stanford University School of Medicine

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Kimberly Zayhowski, MS, CGC is an Assistant Professor of Medical Sciences & Education at the Boston University School of Medicine and Faculty Member of Boston University Master’s Program in Genetic Counseling. Kim received her BS from Brandeis University, triple majoring in Neuroscience, Biology, and Psychology, and minoring in Mathematics. She received her MS in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling from Stanford University School of Medicine. Prior to joining the Boston University Genetic Counseling Program team in 2020, Kim worked at UMass Memorial Medical Center, counseling patients in general, prenatal, cancer, and cardiac genetics clinics. Now at Boston Medical Center, Kim is a cancer genetic counselor and clinical researcher in the Cancer Care Center. A queer, multiracial genetic counselor, Kim’s research within genetic counseling has primarily focused on improving equity in healthcare for communities that continue to be marginalized. She dedicates much of her time to educating genetic counselors on the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community through talks, blogs, and research, including several published studies on improving genetic counseling services for gender diverse patients. Kim co-leads a virtual process group for LGBTQIA+ genetic counselors and students. She is also an active member of the Minority Genetics Professionals Network and Boston Minority Genetic Counselors.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

I am committed to improving diversity efforts within genetic counseling, and to elevating diverse students’ voices. Outside of work, I founded and run two process groups for LGBTQIA+ genetic counselors and genetic counseling students. I mentor several genetic counseling students through the Minority Genetics Professionals Network and served on the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Action Plan Task Force through the National Society of Genetic Counselors. I am a member of the Boston Minority Genetic Counselors Network and the NHGRI Inter-Society Coordinating Committee for Practicing Education in Genomics. I have advocated for inclusivity for the LGBTQIA+ community through research, local and national talks, blogs, and podcasts. I have mentored many students in their graduate school capstone work, projects that largely focus on elevating the voices of the diverse communities that we serve through Community Based Participatory Research. At Boston Medical Center as a cancer genetic counselor, I advocate for patients who have been systemically excluded from the healthcare system. I supervise students through their clinical rotations, and find fulfillment in helping students develop into capable, caring, and responsible professionals. All of these experiences have shaped my growth as a genetic counselor, an educator, and an advocate for inclusivity. There is an obvious need to increase justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within genetic counseling for our patients and our peers. I concentrate my efforts on using my platforms to advocate for those who have been excluded and exploited in genetics and the genetic counseling field.

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Rolle L, Zayhowski K, Koeller D, Chiluiza D, Carmichael N. Transgender patients' perspectives on their cancer genetic counseling experiences. J Genet Couns. 2022 06; 31(3):781-791.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34964220; DOI: 10.1002/jgc4.1544;
  2. Rajkovic A, Cirino AL, Berro T, Koeller DR, Zayhowski K. Transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) individuals' perspectives on research seeking genetic variants associated with TGD identities: a qualitative study. J Community Genet. 2022 Feb; 13(1):31-48.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34637070; PMCID: PMC8799808; DOI: 10.1007/s12687-021-00554-z;
  3. Ruderman M, Berro T, Torrey Sosa L, Zayhowski K. Genetic counselors' experiences with transgender individuals in prenatal and preconception settings. J Genet Couns. 2021 08; 30(4):1105-1118.View Related Profiles. PMID: 33599075
  4. Zayhowski K. Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis. DeckerMed Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2020. View Publication
  5. Berro T, Zayhowski K, Field T, Channaoui N, Sotelo J. Genetic counselors' comfort and knowledge of cancer risk assessment for transgender patients. J Genet Couns. 2020 06; 29(3):342-351.View Related Profiles. PMID: 31562693
  6. Park J, Zayhowski K, Newson AJ, Ormond KE. Genetic counselors' perceptions of uncertainty in pretest counseling for genomic sequencing: A qualitative study. J Genet Couns. 2019 04; 28(2):292-303. PMID: 30741463
  7. Zayhowski K, Park J, Boehmer U, Gabriel C, Berro T, Campion M. Cancer genetic counselors' experiences with transgender patients: A qualitative study. J Genet Couns. 2019 06; 28(3):641-653.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30720922

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 7 publications over 3 distinct years, with a maximum of 3 publications in 2019 and 2021


2021 Boston University Genetic Counseling Program: AGCPD Outstanding Clinical Supervisor Award
2016 Brandeis University: Cum Laude
2015 Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University: Ruderman Social Justice in Disability Scholar
Contact for Mentoring:

72 E. Concord Street
Boston MA 02118
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