Welcome to Grey Genetics
Welcome to Grey Genetics
There are thousands of genetic tests on the market today with new genetic testing products entering the market daily.
Many of these tests are marketed to and ordered by physicians and other healthcare providers. Increasingly, genetic tests are also marketed directly to consumers. Marketing materials excel in clarity and simplicity, highlighting the benefits of genetic testing, the ease of the ordering process, and much more attractive price points than were possible in the past. Marketing materials also necessarily oversimplify.
New technologies have made quick and cheap genetic testing possible—when it’s done at scale. Interpreting these piles of data, however, remains a challenge. Even when genetic data is well characterized and has the potential to meaningfully inform preventive care, lack of effective communication around genetic testing results represents a significant barrier to Personalized Medicine. Testing and data processing scale; conversation does not.
Grey Genetics was founded to provide independent genetic counseling services to thoughtful individuals seeking a better understanding of their genetic testing options, results, and the implications for their own healthcare as well as that of family members.
Marketing materials related to genetic testing are relentlessly cheery. Media headlines related to genetics often refer to “the gene for ___.” A common misconception of genetics is that genes are deterministic. Genetics just isn’t that black and white. There is a lot of grey! The name Grey Genetics® was chosen as a nod to the nuance and complexity inherent in genetic testing options, decisions, results, and implications and application of any decisions or results.
Grey was also chosen because the two different possible spellings of the same word (gray and grey) illustrate a common genetic phenomenon: two different genetic spellings (the substitution of one nucleic acid base for another) can produce the same result (the same amino acid). This is just one example of normal genetic variation. Our genomes may be 99.5% the same, but that still leaves room for variation in 15 million out of 3 billion base pairs. So we’re mostly the same and we’re all very different. It’s complicated.
Meet the Founder
Eleanor Griffith, MS, CGC is a board certified genetic counselor and the founder of Grey Genetics. Her clinical experience includes both prenatal and cancer genetics, in both public and private academic hospital settings. She has also worked for genetic testing companies, including Phosphorus, an innovative Manhattan-based startup, and Myriad Genetics, the first company to commercialize hereditary cancer testing. In both roles, she provided clinical genetics support to physicians, genetic counselors and other healthcare providers.
Eleanor graduated from St. Olaf College in 2003 with a B.A. in English and from Sarah Lawrence College in 2011 with a M.S. in Human Genetics and an Advanced Certificate in Public Health Genetics/Genomics. Her thesis focused on heuristics: cognitive shortcuts that impact decision making and their relevance to genetic counseling. Before pursuing a career in genetic counseling, she worked in publishing, editing, and marketing. She also studied and traveled abroad in France and Latin America, where she learned French and Spanish. You can see her full employment history here.
Patient narratives, family dynamics and psychosocial issues are what drew Eleanor to genetic counseling initially and brought her back to working directly with patients again. She is also passionate about the potential for genetic testing to have a meaningful impact on public health. She is an avid supporter of the CDC’s Office of Public Health Genomics (OPHG) and its goal to integrate appropriate testing for Hereditary Breast/Ovarian Cancer Syndrome, Lynch Syndrome, and Familial Hypercholesterolemia into public health practice. She is also passionate about working with physicians to help them incorporate clinically relevant genetic testing into their practices to meet these public health goals.
Eleanor is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the American College of Medical Genetics. She is also a member of the Admissions Committee for The Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics at Sarah Lawrence College and the Treasurer of the New York State Genetics Task Force. Eleanor grew up in Olympia, WA as one of five siblings and has 10 nieces and nephews (the genetic equivalent of five children). She lives in Brooklyn, NY. She is a native English speaker and is fluent in French and Spanish.