Susan H. Black, MD, CM
Selected as one of Washingtonian's Top Doctors, 2012
Susan H. Black, MD, is the director of Infertility Genetics at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She has been actively involved in both clinical genetics and infertility for more than 20 years in the Washington metropolitan area.
Prior to joining MedStar Washington Hospital Center in 2008, Dr. Black worked 18 years at the Genetics & IVF Institute in Northern Virginia, specializing initially in clinical dysmorphology, biochemical genetics and prenatal diagnostic testing. Dr. Black is one of the country's most experienced practitioners of chorionic villus sampling (CVS), having participated in the original National Institutes of Health (NIH) trials in 1987 that evaluated the new procedure.
In addition, Dr. Black became a practitioner in the diagnosis and complete care of infertility patients, especially providing reproductive options for at-risk genetic disease couples. As a result, Dr. Black introduced in 1992 to the Washington metropolitan area the first preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) program for Fragile X carriers, the most common known inherited form of mental disability; soon added to this program were parents carrying genes for cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, X-linked and other diseases with the opportunity to conceive and deliver unaffected children. Dr. Black also directed the clinical implementation of Microsort® sperm sorting for pre-conception reduction of offspring with X-linked disorders in an FDA-approved, clinical research trial. With her colleagues, she implemented and directed a non-disclosing Huntington PGD, a pioneer program.
For several years during this time, Dr. Black was recognized by the Washingtonian as one of the “Top Infertility Doctors in Washington, D.C.”
In joining the Perinatal Center, Dr. Black has enthusiastically redirected her focus to prenatal diagnosis testing and clinical support. Always warm and compassionate, Dr. Black offers patients exceptional diagnosis and treatment, coupled with supportive personal attention and an emphasis on patient well-being.
Additional Training and Research
Dr. Black completed her post-graduate genetics training from 1979-82 at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. As the first genetics fellow of the Hayward Genetics Program at Tulane, Dr. Black established and directed five satellite clinics throughout the state of Louisiana.
Dr. Black's pediatric training was completed in both London, England, and at the Oschner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans from 1976-79. She completed a general internship in London from 1974-75. She obtained her B.S. and M.D. degrees from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, 1967-73.
Dr. Black is board certified in pediatrics and medical genetics.
Honors, Awards and Society Memberships
Dr. Black is a member of numerous medical societies, including the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), American College of Medical Genetics, American Board of Medical Genetics and American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Dr. Black was an affiliate assistant professor for the Department of Human Genetics at the Medical College of Virginia. She was also a clinical geneticist for the Department of Maternal and Child Health with the Commonwealth of Virginia. Dr. Black has sat on various committees, such as the Genetics Committee Action for Prevention and Developmental Disabilities in Virginia, the research grant committee in Louisiana and the reimbursement committee for ASHG.
Dr. Black has authored and co-authored many abstracts, articles and book chapters, but her particular interest has been as a media representative and on-camera physician-spokesperson for national television and syndicated printed media. Examples include:
- Appearing with Maria Shriver on Dateline NBC regarding PGD for Fragile X syndrome, 1994
- Representing Microsort® on all national news networks and the Oprah Winfrey Show , 1998
- Discussing “The Male Biologic Clock” on NBC4 News , 2007
- Most recently, several live appearances on genetic risks for Fox Channel 5 , 2008
Dr. Black's board certifications include:
- Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics, 1981
- Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Genetics, 1987
- Prenatal diagnosis, including ultrasound, amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling
- Reproductive options for at-risk genetic couples
- Family-history genetic counseling
- Management of high-risk pregnancies with genetic conditions, malformations and inherited diseases
Dr. Black lives in Annandale, Virginia, and has four beautiful daughters. She is proud to have become a grandmother in December 2008.
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