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Drawing Medical Pedigree Trees with TeX and PSTricks

Boris Veytsman and Leila Akhmadeeva


Medical pedigrees look like genealogical trees, but also have certain interesting features. Usually they are drawn by hand by medical geneticists. This is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Freely available programs for drawing genealogies are not fully suitable for this task because of the special format of medical pedigrees. We discuss a package for drawing pedigrees based on PSTricks. The information is input by geneticists in a spreadsheet; a Perl program extracts it and calls TEX to produce the final output.

Boris Veytsman received his PhD in Theoretical Physics in 1992. He has published research papers in many different areas including physics of liquids, polymers, liquid crystals, hydrodynamics of concentrated slurries, telecommunications, evolution ecology, plant physiology, epidemiology, and genetics. He works now at Advanced Engineering & Sciences, ITT and teaches at George Mason University (Virginia, USA). He is interested in modeling of complex systems in various areas. TeX has been his hobby and favorite tool for many years; he has contributed several LaTeX packages to CTAN, taught TeX/LaTeX and consults about all things TeXnical. Contact him at or

Leila Akhmadeeva received her MD degree in Neurology and Genetics in 1994, PhD in Neurology in 1997 and DSc in 2001, becoming one of the youngest DSc recipients in Russia. She is a professor at the Bashkirian State Medical University (Department of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Medical Genetics) in Ufa, Russia. She teaches students, practices clinical neurology and conducts research in neurology and genetics. She is interested in clinical neurology, genetics, quality of life study and modeling of complex medical processes. This work is her first foray in the world of TeX. Leila can be reached at

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