Detroit Medical Center University Laboratories

Biochemical Genetics


Molecular Genetics



Melissa Hicks, MS, CGC currently works for Detroit Medical Center University Laboratories (DMCUL) as a genetic counselor for the molecular genetics, cytogenetics, biochemical genetics, and sendout laboratories. Previously, she worked at Hutzel Women's Hospital, seeing both pregnant and non-pregnant women and couples for reproductive genetic counseling; Children's Hospital of Michigan's Pediatric Genetics clinic, for pediatric and adult genetic counseling; and Winnipeg Health Sciences Center in Canada, where she counseled adult, reproductive, and cancer patients. She received her Master of Science in Genetic Counseling at Wayne State University and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. Ms. Hicks enjoys her role in helping clinicians pick the right genetic test, for the right patient, at the right time. She also has a passion for teaching, supervising, and participating in research projects as part of training genetic counseling interns, medical students, residents, and fellows



The Biochemical Genetics Laboratory provides confirmatory testing for inborn errors of metabolism, along with monitoring of the metabolic status of affected patients. Tests range from gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis of complex mixtures from urine (such as organic acids) to specific enzyme activity determination. Analysis of amino acids is also provided. This laboratory provides rapid turnaround time with an experienced staff. Additional tests may be added as needed to provide service to physicians and patients.


Lidong Zhai, PhD Dr. Zhai is a Biochemical Geneticist and is the Director of the Biochemical Genetics Laboratory. Dr. Zhai is originally from China, having trained and worked across the United States. His Ph.D. training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham was pivotal in directing his career. The overall experience catapulted him into a career directing genetic testing in a variety of settings. He has directed testing of newborns for state PKU programs, testing of pregnant women to assess Down Syndrome and neural tube defect risks, and esoteric biochemical tests to diagnose genetic defects of metabolism. His laboratory at The Detroit Medical Center is a biochemical metabolic genetic testing facility which supports two areas; the continued esoteric tests provided by the DMC Core Lab and the expansion of the test menu, and secondly, to support the diagnostic workup and monitoring of newborns who test positive for a genetic disorder at the Michigan Newborn Screening Laboratory in Lansing.



The Cytogenetics Laboratory at DMCUL is one of the largest comprehensive university based diagnostic laboratories in Michigan. Our lab specializes in chromosome analysis, cancer cytogenetics, and molecular diagnosis by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). We serve over 4,000 patients each year and take pride in providing accurate, efficient, high quality service with short turnaround times.


Anwar N. Mohamed, MD Dr. Anwar Mohamed is board-certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics in Clinical Cytogenetics. She is a Professor in the Department of Pathology at Wayne State University, and the Director of the Clinical Cytogenetics laboratory at Detroit Medical center. Dr Mohamed received her M.D. degree from University of Mosul/Iraq, and a Master in Genetics from Cornell University/New York. She completed her post-doctoral training in cancer Genetics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute. She has over 25 years of experience in clinical cytogenetic including chromosome analysis , FISH, and microarray. Her diagnostic experience is in leukemia, lymphoma, and other hematological malignancies and solid tumors. Dr Mohamed severed on the Cytogenetic working committee for South West Oncology Group. She has authored or co-authored more than 90 publications in Cancer Cytogenetics. Dr Mohamed is also the program Director of the ABMG clinical laboratory training program.


Saleh A.P. Ebrahim, MD Dr. Ebrahim is a clinical cytogeneticist with over 22 years of experience in prenatal, postnatal, and cancer cytogenetics, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), and chromosomal microarray/array CGH. Dr. Ebrahim is a diplomat of the American Board of Medical Genetics (Clinical Cytogenetics) and has considerable experience in the organization and management of high volume cytogenetics laboratory. During his 22 years at the DMCUL cytogenetics laboratory and WSU as a cytogenetics laboratory director, he has performed chromosome analysis, FISH, and chromosomal microarray on several thousands of samples including chorionic villi samples (CVS), amniotic fluid, placental tissue, peripheral blood, bone marrow, as well as other tissue samples. The DMCUL cytogenetics laboratory is one of the largest comprehensive university based diagnostic laboratory in Michigan. The laboratory continues its commitment to provide high quality and superior laboratory services to DMC/WSU physicians and other healthcare organizations in Michigan and beyond. Over the years, the cytogenetics laboratory has remained on the cutting edge of its profession.



The Molecular Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory provides DNA-based testing services for diagnosis, carrier detection and prenatal diagnosis for over 20 genetic disorders. Furthermore, genetic testing is also available for the diagnosis of hematological malignancies and to monitor disease status. Molecular techniques are used for direct mutation analysis, which allows rapid and accurate testing of patient samples. Once a mutation in a family is identified, genetic testing for other family members is available, providing crucial information in the provision of genetic counseling and determination of recurrence risk.


Gerald Feldman, MD, PhD Dr. Feldman is the Director of Clinical Genetics Services, Director of the Medical Genetics Residency Program, and Director of the Molecular Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory. He is an associate professor in the CMMG and the Departments of Pathology and Pediatrics. Dr. Feldman obtained his PhD and MD from the Medical College of Virginia. He did a pediatric residency and postdoctoral fellowships in clinical genetics and clinical biochemical/molecular genetics at Baylor College of Medicine. He is board certified in pediatrics, clinical genetics and clinical biochemical/molecular genetics. Dr. Feldman coordinates patient care in all the genetics clinics of the Detroit Medical Center. His research interests include the molecular diagnosis of cystic fibrosis and the development of expanded newborn screening for genetic conditions. He is currently President-Elect of the Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics and Chair of the Medical Genetics Residency Review Committee of the Accredidation Council for Graduate Medical Education. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the American College of Medical Genetics.


Shaochun Bai, PhD is board certified in Clinical Molecular Genetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics. She joined Detroit Medical Center in 2017 and serves the technical director of the Molecular Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory. Her primary mission includes developing new tests and delivering state-of-the-art testing to the adult and pediatric patients as well as cancer patients. Dr. Bai received her clinical fellowship in molecular genetics at the University of Chicago. Prior joining DMC, Dr. Bai was the director of Molecular Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory at School of Medicine, Indiana University. She currently serves on the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Economic Committee and the Association for Molecular Pathology Publication and Communication Committee.


Erin Wakeling, PhD is a technical director of the Molecular Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory at the Detroit Medical Center. She did her graduate training in genetics at Michigan State University and her post-doctoral clinical molecular genetics training at WSU SOM. Dr. Wakeling is involved in developing new assays and interpreting genetic test results for a wide range of inherited diseases and cancers. She also supervises genetics residents and genetic counseling students during their rotation through the laboratory.


Contact Information

Genetic Counseling Graduate Program
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics
Wayne State University School of Medicine
3127 Scott Hall
540 E. Canfield Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201

Administrative Office:
(313) 577-6298
Fax: (313) 577-9137