Thursday, Jan. 18

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Genetic counselor, cardiac critical care specialist join pediatrics faculty

Medical Center leadership is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff.

Laura Godfrey Hendon, M.S., M.A.

Portrait of Laura Hendon

Laura Godfrey Hendon, a certified genetic counselor in the Department of Pediatrics at UMMC since 2011, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of pediatrics.

After receiving her B.S. in biology magna cum laude from the University of Mississippi in 2006, Hendon earned her M.A. in biomedical science with an emphasis in molecular genetics and genomics at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri, in 2008, and her M.S. in genetic counseling at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 2011. She then joined the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics at UMMC. Since 2016, she has also served in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine.

Hendon is an active member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and is a former chair of the Education Committee for the Prenatal Special Interest Group.

Hendon has given more than 30 lectures at the state and regional levels to undergraduate students, medical students, ob-gyn residents, MFM and NICU fellows, and faculty. She is the author or coauthor of two posters presented at scientific meetings and five articles in peer-reviewed professional publications. Herndon is part of UMMC’s team for the NIH-funded South-Seq Project.

Christopher Loren Jenks, M.D.


Dr. Christopher Loren Jenks, a clinical instructor of pediatrics and cardiac critical care medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of pediatrics.

After receiving his B.S. in biology from Bob Jones University in 2002, Jenks earned his M.S. in hyperbaric medicine in 2007 and his M.D. in 2009 at Saba University School of Medicine. He then completed an internal medicine internship (2009-10) and a combined internal medicine pediatric residency (2010-13) at the Louisiana State University Health Science Center. He started his pediatric critical care medicine fellowship (2013-14) at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, and transferred to complete his fellowship (2013-14) at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He subsequently completed an extra year of training in cardiac critical care medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital (2016-17).

He was chief fellow in pediatric critical care medicine at UT-Southwestern and chief resident in internal medicine/pediatrics at the LSU Health Science Center. He serves on the editorial boards of three scientific journals and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several others. He is the author or coauthor of four research articles and one review article, and has presented his work at many different scientific meetings nationally.

His academic interests include pediatric cardiac critical care medicine, mechanical circulatory support devices and bedside ultrasonography.