Biochemical Genetics Clinic


The Waisman Center Clinics provide comprehensive clinical care and support for children with disabilities and their families. The Waisman Center Biochemical Genetics Clinic is a partnership with UW Health and the American Family Children’s Hospital. The Biochemical Genetics Clinic is an interdisciplinary clinic for people of all ages who have suspected or known hereditary metabolic disease. These include: aminoacidopathies (such as phenylketonuria or PKU), organic acidemias (including propionic and methylmalonic acidemias), defects of fatty acid metabolism (such as medium chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency or MCADD), and for observed neurodevelopmental and biochemical abnormalities (e.g. autism spectrum disorders, acidosis, hyperammonemia, seizures). Professionals in pediatrics, nutrition, genetic counseling, and nursing provide initial diagnostic/confirmatory services and longitudinal medical care and nutritional supervision, counseling, care coordination and referrals.


If you are interested in an appointment, please have your/your child’s primary care provider fill out a referral at  We will call you to schedule an appointment once we have processed the referral.

  • All clinic visitors should park in stalls outlined in blue and give their license plate number to the schedulers upon check-in. (See map and directions below.)
  • Our clinic is located on the first floor of the Waisman Center, 1500 Highland Avenue.
  • Plan to arrive 5 to 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. Check in at the clinic reception desk located just beyond the Waisman Center’s main lobby.
  • A medical assistant may obtain your child’s height, weight, pulse and blood pressure. You and your child will be taken to an examination room. A biochemical geneticist, metabolic dietitian, genetic counselor or nurse practitioner will obtain a thorough health history. You or your child will be thoroughly examined and staff will discuss the evaluation and answer any questions you may have.
  • Other professionals may also provide evaluations and/or consultations as needed.
  • Necessary laboratory evaluations will be discussed and coordinated.
  • The clinics are a nut-free zone.

NOTE: Full visit information will be shared in writing with you and your child’s primary health care provider, subspecialists, and others as indicated by signed release of information forms.


  • Provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art diagnostic services and medical and nutritional management.
  • Educate patients and families about their biochemical disorders, associated complications and the genetic cause.
  • Provide health care counseling about potential risks and preventive behaviors.
  • Refer and collaborate with other health professionals to meet patient’s special needs.
  • Provide information on community resources and services to support patients and families.
  • Support and advocate for the patient and family.

Clinic Team

Clinic Director

David Wargowski, MD

Position title: Clinical Geneticist


William Rhead, MD, PHD

Position title: Clinical Geneticist

Philip James, MD

Position title: Clinical geneticist

Clinic Coordinator

Nicoletta Drilias, RD, CD

Position title: Metabolic Dietitian

Clinic Team

Therese Breunig, RD, CD, CLC

Position title: Metabolic Dietitian

Sonja Henry, MS, CGC

Position title: Genetic Counselor

Ashley Kuhl, MS, CGC

Position title: Genetic Counselor

Lisa Obernolte, MS, RD, CD

Position title: Metabolic Dietitian

Matthew Rasberry, RD, CNSC

Position title: Metabolic Dietitian

Maps, Directions, and Parking for Clinic Visitors

Parking MapFrom the east—follow University Avenue through campus and then go off to the right on Campus Drive; stay in the right lane and turn right at the University Bay Drive/Farley Avenue intersection.

From the west—follow University Avenue and turn left at the University Bay Drive/Farley Avenue intersection. After making the turn (from either direction)... Continue straight over the hill; the road at that point becomes Highland Avenue. The Waisman Center is at the bottom of the hill on the left, across the street from UW-Children's Hospital.

PARKING: All clinic visitors should park in stalls outlined in blue and give their license plate number to the schedulers upon check-in.

ENTRANCE: Enter building in north tower at main clinics/lobby doors. Turn right and walk through lobby to clinics registration desk.

Click on map thumbnail to view larger image.

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