Beth Fine Kaplan, 41, coordinator of the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at the Medical School, died May 12  at the Hospice of Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Ms. Fine Kaplan, who was instrumental in developing the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at Northwestern, joined the Medical School in 1994.
In the spring of that year, she invited an expert on breast cancer to speak to her class in women's health and genetic issues at The Graduate School of Northwestern. The next day, during a self-examination, she discovered a lump in her own breast. That discovery led to a battle against the disease that ended when Ms. Fine Kaplan died at the Hospice, surrounded by family and friends.
Her most recent research was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Human Genome Research. She also was an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical School.
Before joining Northwestern she served as a genetics counselor at Illinois Masonic Medical Center; Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center; and Childrens Memorial Hospital, Omaha; and the Boys Town Institute for Communication Disorders in Children, Omaha.
The author of numerous articles and book chapters and the editor of books in the field of genetic counseling, Ms. Fine Kaplan was past president of the National Society of Genetic counselors and received their Natalie Weissberger Paul National Achievement Award in 1994.
Ms. Fine Kaplan received a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from Cornell University and a master's degree in biology from the University of Nebraska. She did graduate studies in clinical and molecular genetics at the University of Colorado.
Ms. Fine Kaplan volunteered her time and energy to her children's school in Northbrook. She was deeply involved in the Jewish community as well.
She is survived by her husband, Daniel Kaplan; sons Joshua and Aaron; her father, Charles Fine; and two sisters, Janet and Diane. Services were held at Weinstein Family Services Wilmette Chapel, with interment at Shalom Memorial Park, Arlington Heights.
Donations named in her memory may be made to the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.