I did PhD in Biochemistry, from Chosun University, South Korea and Master’s in Public Health, from Washington University in Saint Louis. I am currently working as a Staff Scientist in Dr John F DiPersio laboratory. My work focuses on different kinase inhibitors that may have potential for persistence of CART19 cells and mitigating Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS) during Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy.
The primary goal of my research is to improve breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival by precision data science.
Breast cancer is a diverse and heterogeneous disease, hence one therapy will not be uniformly beneficial to all patients. To dissect the molecular level heterogeneity of these tumors, we employ multi-omics and big data analysis on patient’s next generation sequencing data. We implement bioinformatics to understand the role of mutations, structural variations, gene expressions, copy number variations and genomic aberrations in promoting breast cancer.
In the past, we have shown role of DNA damage repair defects as a new class of endocrine treatment resistance driver. Exploring the cause and effect relationship further, we are trying to understanding the contribution of immune-checkpoint and other immune-tolerance factors in therapeutic resistant and advancement of estrogen-receptor positive disease. This warrants for integration of patient genome, transcriptome and metabolome with their clinical data.
Valérie Barbié is the Director of the Clinical Bioinformatics group at SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, in Switzerland. She studied computer sciences in France and the United States, and quickly became passionate about life sciences and health applications, embracing a bioinformatics career at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). In 2001, she entered the pharmaceutical industry, holding various positions in bioinformatics, biomarkers and stratified medicine, then joined the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics in 2015.
She’s currently co-investigator of Swiss national platforms in oncology and medical genetics, in collaboration with several hospitals across the country, to collect, harmonize and share genomics data generated in clinical practice. Since 2018, Mrs. Barbié has served as an expert for the personalized medicine ICPerMed and ERAPerMed European consortia. Her group is also strongly involved in infectious diseases, managing the Swiss platform for the surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 genomes and sharing these data at the European and international level.
Erica Barnell is an MD/PhD candidate from the Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Barnell defended her PhD thesis in 2019 at the McDonnell Genome Institute on alleviating the analysis bottleneck within precision oncology. Erica is also the co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Geneoscopy, a St. Louis healthcare startup company that is building diagnostics to noninvasively diagnose, monitor, and treat gastrointestinal disease. Throughout her academic and professional career, Dr. Barnell has published 21 peer-review manuscripts within the field of precision oncology, holds 3 patents for Geneoscopy-related technologies, and has written two published book chapters. At Geneoscopy, Dr. Barnell is responsible for the development and execution of clinical trials to advance pipeline diagnostics. Specifically, Erica is working towards obtaining FDA approval for Geneoscopy’s lead assay, which is a non-invasive test that can detect both colorectal cancer and advanced adenomas in the population. This test was awarded Breakthrough Device Designation status from the FDA for its novel ability to detect advanced adenomas with high sensitivity. Dr. Barnell had raised over $115M in venture-backed funding for Geneoscopy, built an 11,000-square foot CAP/CLIA laboratory in Maryland Heights, and grew the company to over 50 employees. Dr. Barnell named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2020 and was awarded the Most Influential Business Women by the St. Louis Business Journal in 2021. Dr. Barnell is currently finishing her MD at Washington University with anticipated graduation in 2023.
Cynthia Reyes Barron
Dr. Cynthia Reyes Barron received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She obtained her medical degree from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC), El Paso, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. She pursued residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York and a fellowship in dermatopathology at the same institution. She is board certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic and clinical pathology and dermatopathology. Currently, she is a staff pathologist at Pathology Professional Services, a private laboratory in El Paso, Texas, where she focuses on dermatopathology cases and works closely with dermatologists from the community. She is a volunteer faculty member at TTUHSC and will be teaching pathology residents and medical students. She is also a volunteer with Angelmira’s Center for Women with Advanced Cancer, based in Houston, Texas. Her research interests include melanoma, mycosis fungoides, sebaceous neoplasms, and breast cancer. She has presented her research at ASDP, CAP, USCAP, and AMP. She authored the “Skin Tumors” chapter in Practical Oncologic Molecular Pathology: Frequently Asked Questions and has several publications including two recently published in Dermatopathology.
Dr. Baughn is a co-director of the clinical genomics laboratory at the Mayo Clinic and is a board certified clinical cytogeneticist and molecular geneticist. Dr. Baughn has a research background in cancer biology with a focused interest in hematologic malignancies, specifically multiple myeloma and is actively engaged in myeloma translational research and assay development.
Matthew earned an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and a doctorate degree in Biomedical Sciences from The Ohio State University. He contributed to bioinformatics and experimental therapeutics-based research to screen FDA-approved drugs for new indications for sickle cell disease (SCD). Matthew joined Dr. Alex Wagner’s lab as a postdoctoral scientist to continue his training and currently leads research and development for the next version of the Drug-Gene Interaction Database (DGIdb).
Yang Cao, PhD, FACMG, is an Associate Medical Director of the Cytogenetics & Molecular Pathology Laboratory and Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology & Immunology. She is also the Program Director of the Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. After completing her PhD training in Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she went to Mayo Clinic for ABMGG fellowships in both Clinical Cytogenetics and Clinical Molecular Genetics. Dr. Cao is ABMGG board certified in Clinical Cytogenetics and Clinical Molecular Genetics. She is currently active in professional communities, such as Association for Molecular Pathology Membership Affairs Committee, CLSI Document Development Committee, Cancer Genomics Consortium 2022 Annual Meeting Planning Committee and Communication Committee, ClinGen Dosage Sensitivity Working group and ClinGen Brain Malformation Expert Panel. Her academic interests include clinical education in molecular and laboratory genetics, as well as clinical research focusing on genomic testing for constitutional diseases and somatic conditions.
Katie Campbell, Ph.D. completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the Pennsylvania State University, graduating with honors from the Schreyer Honors College, and received her PhD in Molecular Cell Biology at Washington University in St. Louis in the laboratory of Dr. Obi Griffith.
Upon the completion of her PhD, Dr. Campbell joined the laboratory of Dr. Antoni Ribas at UCLA as a postdoctoral researcher in 2018. Her early postdoctoral work focused on establishing cloud-based computational pipelines to automate and parallelize the processing of genomics and transcriptomics data derived from clinical melanoma tumor biopsies and patient-derived melanoma models. She has since expanded these approaches to integrate multiplexed spatial profiling data to understand the complex molecular drivers and cellular interactions responsible for immunotherapeutic response in melanoma clinical specimens. Campbell’s current research aims to understand how the somatic alterations in the antigen presentation machinery modulate tumor-T-cell interactions, particularly through copy number alterations that result in imbalance or loss of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes. Her interests and approaches collectively enable the comprehensive molecular profiling of tumors, defined by interface of tumor drivers and immunogenicity, to improve immunotherapeutic strategies.
Paulo Campregher, MD, PhD is a hematologist and molecular pathologist in charge of cancer genomics assays in solid tumors and hematology at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, Brazil. He is also a professor at Health Sciences Graduate School from Albert Einstein Research Institute, São Paulo, Brazil, with a research focus on genomics of myeloid malignancies.
Dr. Jian Carrot-Zhang, PhD, is an Assistant Attending in the Computational Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Her research focuses on understanding germline-somatic interactions in multi-ethnic populations. She develops computational and statistical approaches to characterize ancestral effects on the cancer genomes. She led a project in collaboration with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) research network to identify ancestry-specific molecular features across multiple cancer types. Dr. Carrot-Zhang obtained her PhD in Human Genetics from McGill University and trained at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as a postdoctoral research fellow with Dr. Matthew Meyerson. Prior to MSKCC, she was an Instructor in Medicine in Harvard Medical School.
Lauren Choate earned her PhD in Genetics, Genomics, and Development from Cornell University. Her graduate work focused on using functional genomics and bioinformatics to study the evolution of gene regulation in the primate immune system. Lauren is currently a third year Laboratory Genetics and Genomics fellow at Mayo Clinic where she is interested in structural variation, cancer genomics, and computational analysis of sequencing data.
Dr. Melissa Cline is an Associate Research Scientist at the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. She is the Program Manager of the BRCA Challenge, a consortium launched by the Global Alliance of Genomics and Health to pioneer methods for privacy-preserving data sharing with the goal of expediting genetic variation. She leads the development of BRCA Exchange, the world’s largest public repository on BRCA variation, and on federated analysis methods for germline variant interpretation. Dr Cline received her Ph.D. from UC Santa Cruz in 2000. Subsequently, she worked as a Senior Research Scientist at Affymetrix and as a postdoctoral researcher at the Pasteur Institute and UC Santa Cruz, ultimately joining the Genomics Institute in 2009.
Catherine Cottrell, PhD, FACMG, serves as the Senior Director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine Clinical Laboratory at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She is an Associate Professor – Clinical in the Departments of Pathology and Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Cottrell is dual certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics in the specialties of Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics having completed her fellowship training at The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio in 2010. Following the conclusion of her fellowship, Dr. Cottrell assumed a faculty position in 2011 at Washington University (WU) School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri. In the six years she spent at WU, she ultimately served as the Director of the Cytogenetics and Molecular Pathology Laboratory, and as an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Immunology, and Department of Genetics. Dr. Cottrell specializes in the clinical interpretation of high-complexity genomic laboratory tests including next-generation sequencing, Sanger sequencing, chromosome analysis, FISH analysis, and chromosomal microarrays. She has an interest in the development of new clinical diagnostic assays, and a focus on somatic variant interpretation and mosaicism in the setting of congenital disease. Her current clinical and research emphasis includes genome sequencing, tumor somatic profiling, and the development of best practices in genetic variant interpretation.
Arpad Danos is involved with CIViC (Clinical Interpretation of Variants in Cancer, www.civicdb.org) as an editor, and works on training and development of the CIViC data model to integrate new cancer variant classification guidelines, and keep pace with the rapidly evolving field of clinical cancer variant interpretation.
Yaron Einhorn leads the bioinformatics and research in Genoox since 2016.
Celeste C. Eno, Ph.D., FACMG is an Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Cytogenetics and Molecular Laboratories at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Her clinical role includes both cytogenetics and molecular genetics, which has underscored the value of integrative genetics. She has a particular interest in hematopoietic and lymphoid malignancies. She is involved in the technical and development of new tests and designing new NGS panels. Her teaching roles include being the Genetics coordinator for the CS Pathology residents and fellows.
Laure Fresard is a senior computational biologist at Invitae, focusing on developing and evaluating methods and metrics to support the interpretation of variants, especially those that potentially impact splicing and gene expression. She holds a BS/MS in Animal Genetics from Agrocampus Rennes in France and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Toulouse, France. As a PhD student, Laure used RNA-seq to characterize genomic imprinting and RNA editing in birds. Between 2015 and 2020, she was a postdoc at Stanford University in Dr Stephen Montgomery’s lab, focusing on using whole blood RNA-seq in conjunction with whole exome or whole genome sequencing to help pinpoint causal variants in patients affected by rare Mendelian diseases.
Laure is dedicated to using her knowledge and understanding of regulation of gene expression and splicing to impact patient lives.
Aaron Gillmor is a Ph.D. candidate who researches cancer bioinformatics at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Aaron’s current research focuses on using genetic variants to determine what cancerous clones exist within a glioblastoma tumor, what these clones are capable of and how they evolve in space and time. For his research efforts, Aaron has been awarded the Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship and Graduate Faculty Council Scholarship. As a collaborator, Aaron has been a co-author on five peer-reviewed papers and teaches at the prestigious Canadian Bioinformatics Workshop. Beyond academia, Aaron is an avid nordic enthusiast who coaches the sports of biathlon and cross-country skiing.
Dr. Gomez is an Instructor in the Griffith and Fehniger Laboratories at the McDonnell Genome Institute and The Department of Medicine –Division of Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Gomez is leading a deep sequencing analysis of Hodgkin lymphoma genomes with the goal of describing somatic events characteristic of this malignancy. Dr. Gomez collaborates with members of the Griffith and Fehniger laboratories on projects related to the genomics of Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Dr. Gomez’s research goals include developing strategies to translate genomic data into improved patient care. She is specifically interested in working toward the inclusion of diverse human populations in translational genomic research.
Patrick R. Gonzales
Dr. Patrick R. Gonzales is a Clinical Assistant Professor, Co-Director of the Cytogenetics Laboratory, and Clinical Consultant for the Clinical Molecular Oncology Laboratory, in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Building upon his prior experience in clinical cytogenetics at Mayo Clinic, and molecular genetics at Washington University in St. Louis, he completed his training at UAB in clinical cytogenetics, molecular genetics and genomics to properly interpret mechanisms of genetic disease. He is ABMGG certified in Clinical Cytogenetics and Genomics, as well as Clinical Molecular Genetics and Genomics.
Rushank Goyal is a high school senior from India conducting research in the field of machine learning-based life sciences, especially cancer genomics and transcriptomics. He has presented his work at numerous fairs and conferences, the most recent being Regeneron’s International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2022, where he received a third-place award out of 1800+ projects from the American Statistical Association for excellent use of statistical and data science principles in his project. He conducts independent research as part of Betsos and has previously worked under a mentor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal. His other interests lie in maternal mortality and indigenous Indian ethnomedicine, and he hopes to investigate the translation of biological and technological principles to those fields in the near future. In his free time, he enjoys writing, cycling, and playing badminton.
Marcin Imieliski MD, PhD is a physician-scientist and cancer genomicist whose primary research focus has been to understand patterns of complex, noncoding, and structural genomic variation in human cancer. As a molecular genetic pathologist, he is interested in the clinical applications of whole genome sequencing. Prior to joining WCM and NYGC, Marcin Imieliski completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Matthew Meyerson at the Broad Institute, residency and fellowship in molecular pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, MD and PhD in genomics and computational biology at the University of Pennsylvania, and B.S. in Computer Science from Rutgers College. The Imieliski laboratory has recently uncovered three novel classes of complex rearrangements through the development of a paradigm shifting algorithmic approach to whole genome sequencing analysis called gGnome (Cell 2020). They have also applied these methods to delineate SV patterns in telomere crisis (Nature Communications 2021) and lung adenocarcinomas that lack known oncogenic drivers (Cell Reports 2021). Recent work has included the application of long read sequencing to understand cooperativity in high-order 3D genome structure through the development of a new assay (Pore-C) and computational methods (Chromunity) (Nature Biotechnology 2022). The Imieliski lab’s previous work (Cell 2017) provided some of the first evidence that passenger somatic mutation patterns in human cancer reflect transcriptional states of cells of origin. His laboratory has developed innovative WGS methods for structural variant assembly (SvAbA, Genome Research 2018) and driver nomination (fishHook, Cell 2017), which have been used in PCAWG (Nature 2020, Cell 2021) and other collaborative studies (Nature 2018, Nature 2021, PNAS 2021). He has an h-index of 50, having contributed to over 100 publications that have been cited over 38,000 times.
Jennifer Karlow (Flynn) received her PhD in Computational and Systems Biology under the mentorship of Dr. Ting Wang at Washington University in St. Louis in 2021. While in the Wang lab, her work focused primarily on understanding epigenetic dysregulation during tumor initiation and progression. Through comparative DNA methylation, RNA-sequencing, exome-sequencing, and ChIP-sequencing data analyses, she assessed methods by which non-small cell lung cancer routinely metastasized to the brain. She found that recurrent methylation changes in brain metastases accumulated within regions harboring the repressive histone mark H3K27me3 in normal lung, and she performed a series of ChIP-seq experiments to show that these regions exhibited a loss of EZH2 occupancy in a surrogate metastasis cell line, exemplifying epigenetic switching. In parallel, she worked with other talented members of the lab to help improve -omics data visualization through creation of the WashU Virus Genome Browser in response to the current pandemic. Through her time in the Wang lab, she learned of the vast roles that transposable elements play in evolution, development, and disease, and was especially intrigued by their regulatory potential under altered methylation in cancer. This interest attracted her to the laboratory of Dr. Kathleen Burns at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she joined as a postdoctoral fellow beginning in February 2022. As a member of the Burns lab, Jennifer is interested in better understanding how LINE-1 expression and integration can contribute to the development of ovarian cancer precursor lesions and contribute to progression into high grade serous ovarian cancer and metastatic spread.
Ian King is a Clinical Molecular Geneticist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. Ian is interested in development and implementation of tools for interpretation of somatic and hereditary sequence variants in clinical labs, and has a research interest in the genomics of melanoma and gynecological cancers. Ian is co-chair of the ClinGen Somatic Variant Curation Expert Panel for FGFR3 variants in urothelial cancer, and also serves as co-chair of the ClinGen Somatic Solid Tumor Taskforce.
Eric Q. Konnick
Dr. Konnick earned his BS in biology at the University of Utah and was a Research and Development Scientist at Associated Regional and University Pathologists (ARUP) Laboratories for 7 years prior to enrolling in medical school. During this time he developed numerous molecular infectious disease assays, designed and implemented multiple informatics applications & interfaces, and earned his master‘s degree in Laboratory Medicine and Biomedical Science. He obtained his MD at the University of Utah, and subsequently completed a residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and a fellowship in Molecular Genetic Pathology at the University of Washington. He is currently an Assistant Professor and an Associate Director of the Genetics and Solid Tumor Laboratory (GSTL) in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Washington. He is responsible for the preanalytical assessment of all tissue samples tested in the GSTL, as well as design, implementation, and analysis of next-generation sequencing tests for germline and somatic variants related to treatment biomarkers and cancer predisposition assessment. His research interests involve the overlap of germline and somatic testing and somatic mosaicism.
Bruce R. Korf
Dr. Korf is the Associate Dean for Genomic Medicine, School of Medicine; Chief Genomics Officer, UAB Medicine; Wayne H. and Sara Crews Finley Endowed Chair in Medical Genetics, Professor of Genetics, Co-Director of the UAB-HudsonAlpha Center for Genomic Medicine, Associate Director for Rare Diseases, Hugh Kaul Personalized Medicine Institute and editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Human Genetics. Dr. Korf is past president of the Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics, past president of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, and current president of the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine. He has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH. His major research interests are genomic medicine and the natural history, genetics, and treatment of neurofibromatosis. He serves as principal investigator of the Department of Defense funded Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trials Consortium, and co-PI of the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative and the All of Us Southern Network. He is co-author of Human Genetics and Genomics (medical student textbook, now in fourth edition), and Emery and Rimoin‘s Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics.
Kilannin Krysiak is an Assistant Professor at Washington University School of Medicine and Assistant Medical Director of the Cytogenomics and Molecular Pathology Laboratory. She received her PhD and completed her Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. During her postdoctoral work with Drs. Malachi Griffith and Obi Griffith, she was part of the original team that created the CIViC (Clinical Interpretation of Variants in Cancer; www.civicdb.org) knowledgebase and continues to be a lead curator and feature development consultant of that resource. As member of the ClinGen Somatic Somatic Working Group, she continues her international involvement in guideline development in the field of cancer molecular genetics.
Runjun is a clinical geneticist and pediatrician, now completing his fellowship in molecular genetic pathology at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. He completed his MD and PhD at Washington University in St. Louis and is pleased to visit! His research interests include development of bioinformatic methods for somatic and germline variant interpretation, optimizing genetic test utilization, and developing pre- and post-analytic supports for community health care workers. His work is featured in journals including Nature Genetics, Bioinformatics, Cancer Genetics, the American Journal of Medical Genetics, and others. After his clinical training, he plans to stay in academic medicine and continue to develop his research and clinical practice.
Kori Kuzma is a Bioinformatics Software Developer in the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She obtained her BS in Computer Science and Engineering from The Ohio State University. Kori develops and deploys web applications for the analysis and interpretation of genomic variants.
Angela Lager, PhD, FACMG, is a clinical laboratory geneticist at the University of Chicago. Dr. Lager completed her doctorate at Case Western Reserve University in Genetics and Genome Sciences, followed by fellowships in clinical cytogenetics and molecular genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (#OnWisconsin). In 2018 Dr. Lager joined the Department of Pathology and Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago as an Assistant Professor. Her research and clinical interests are focused on using cytogenetic and molecular genetic testing modalities to uncover and define the cytogenetic and molecular genetic landscape of cancer as it relates to diagnosis, prognosis, therapy response, and disease progression. Within the Cancer Genomics Consortium Dr. Lager has served as the Chair of the Communications committee since October 2021.
Dr. Zejuan Li is a clinical molecular geneticist certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Dr. Li currently is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Genomic Medicine at the Houston Methodist and Weill Cornell Medical College, and an Associate Medical Director of the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at the Houston Methodist Hospital. Before joining Houston Methodist in 2018, Dr. Li was an Assistant Professor of Human Genetics and an Assistant Director of Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Chicago. Dr. Li’s clinical interest is in developing and implementing cutting-edge technologies in germline and somatic molecular testing in cancer. Her goal is to provide high-quality genetic and genomic services to patients. Dr. Li’s research interest is in identifying novel genetic and epigenetic biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic response in leukemia, lymphoma, and solid tumors. Her research has been published in high-impact journals, including Cancer
Cell, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nature Communications, Blood, Leukemia, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Genome Research, and Cancer Research. Dr. Li has received awards and funding from the American Cancer Society, Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Jie Liu received her Bachelor degree in Medicine from Sun Yat-sen University of Medical Sciences, China, in 2017. Then, she earned her Master degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and now is working towards her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. She has a multidisciplinary background in medicine, biology, population sciences and bioinformatics. Her current research interests lie in the area of cancer translational research, focusing on using both experimental and computational methods to improve early detection of hematologic malignancies and develop prevention strategies.
Ruby Liu is a cytogenetics technologist at Northwestern Medicine where she leads the development of several clinical tests including chromosomal microarray. She holds a Master of Science degree in Diagnostic Genetics from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Purdue University. Ruby serves on the Board of Directors for Ring 14 USA, a non-profit organization that raises awareness of Ring 14 Syndrome, fundraises for research, and provides support to those affected by rare neurogenetic disorders of the 14th chromosome.
Elaine Mardis, PhD is co-Executive Director of the Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and holds the Rasmussen Nationwide Foundation Endowed Chair of Genomic Medicine. She also is Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Educated at the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Zoology and a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biochemistry, Dr. Mardis did postgraduate work in industry at BioRad Laboratories. She was on the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine from 1993-2016. Dr. Mardis has authored over 380 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has been listed since 2013 as one of the most highly cited researchers in the world by Thompson Reuters/Clarivate. She is an internationally recognized expert in cancer genomics, with ongoing interests in the integrated characterization of cancer genomes, defining DNA- based somatic and germline interactions and RNA-based pathways and immune microenvironments that lead to cancer onset and progression, focused on pediatric cancers. She is committed to converting the research-based knowledge of genomics into optimized assays with rapid transition to clinical implementation for pediatric and AYA cancer patients. Dr. Mardis was awarded the Morton K. Schwartz award from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry in 2016 and the Heath Memorial Award from MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2020. Dr. Mardis served as President of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) from 2019-2020. She was elected a Fellow of the AACR Academy, and was elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine in 2019.
Meenakshi Mehrotra Ph.D is an Assistant Professor in Department of Pathology, Molecular and Cell-Based Medicine Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York NY. She is also an Assistant Director of Clinical Molecular Pathology Lab, Mount Sinai Health System. NY. She received her doctoral degree in Molecular Biology and genetic Engineering from the University of Lucknow, INDIA. Dr. Mehrotra did her postdoctoral training in at the University of Texas MD Anderson cancer Center Houston, Tx and has an excellent background in Clinical genomics and Molecular Diagnostics. Dr. Mehrotra is involve in new assay and technology development, which involves somatic mutation detection, identification of translocations, copy number detection for cancer-related clinical molecular diagnostics and research. She has expertise in different next generation sequencing platforms and played a key role in the validation and implementation of a next generation sequencing assay for the detection of somatic mutations in solid tumors and liquid biopsies. She participates in clinical and translational studies in oncology and her areas of expertise include evaluation and validation of new diagnostic platforms for applications in oncology which can be used for a variety of clinical and investigational applications.
Dr. Marilena Melas is an Assistant Director in Molecular Diagnostics (Oncology) at New York Genome Center since August of 2021. Dr. Melas holds an integrated BS-MSc in Applied Biology & Biotechnology from the University of Ioannina in Greece and two master’s degrees — the first one in Molecular Medicine at the University of Crete, Greece, and the second one in Genetics of Human Diseases at the University College London, UK. Dr. Melas completed her PhD in Cancer Biology and Genomics at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center/University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.
After her PhD, she completed an ABMGG Clinical Laboratory Genetics and Genomics (LGG) fellowship at the Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, affiliated with the Ohio State University. In her current role as a laboratory geneticist, Dr. Melas specializes in cancer genome diagnostics focusing on the analysis, interpretation, and reporting of clinical molecular test results for Oncology Genome and Transcriptome sequencing assays. She serves as a junior member of the Board of Directors of the Cancer Genomics Consortium (CGC), and volunteers as a Communications Committee and Program Committee member at CGC. She is also the communications liaison of the Compendium of Cancer Genome Aberrations (CCGA) and is a member of the Molecular Pathology Competency Working Group of the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP). Her research interests include the translation of genomic discoveries into clinical and therapeutic applications in the field of personalized medicine, to provide state-of-the-art patient care.
Dr. Miga is an Assistant Professor in the Biomolecular Engineering Department UCSC, and an Associate Director of the UCSC Genomics Institute. In 2019, she co-founded the Telomere-to-Telomere (T2T) Consortium, an open, community-based effort to generate the first complete assembly of a human genome. Additionally, Dr. Miga is the Director of the Reference Production Center for the Human Pangenome Reference Consortium (HPRC). Central to Dr. Miga‘s research program is the emphasis on satellite DNA biology and the use of long-read and new genome technologies to construct high-quality genetics and epigenetic maps of human peri/centromeric regions.
My name is Ha Nguyen. I was born and raised in the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam. I obtained both my Bachelor of Science in Cytogenetic Technology and Histotechnology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (UTMDACC). After that, I worked as clinical laboratory technologist at NeoGenomics. I am currently a graduate student in Diagnostic Genetics and Genomics program at UTMDACC, and I will graduate in August 2022. At UTMDACC, I am the recipient of the prestigious fellowship award from the Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Peter and Cynthia Hu/ Cardinal Health Scholarship. My long-term goal is to work as a cytogenetics technologist and later as laboratory instructor so that I can specialize in cytogenetics and teach knowledge to future generations. As a student in the graduate program based on applied research, I have learned that knowledge is constantly evolving in health professions, so we always have to invest in studies and clinical trials to discover new methods of disease diagnosis and treatment. In my senior year, I am working on my thesis at MD Anderson Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory with the mentorship by Dr. Kanagal-Shamanna. My study is that novel high-throughput technologies can complement traditional cytogenetics testing to improve the diagnosis and prognosis of patients with hematological malignancies. I hope that my work will make important contribution to improving health care for cancer patients.
Jacqueline E. Payton, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Immunology in the Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine and Co-Director of the Pathology Physician Scientist Training Program at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM). Dr. Payton earned her M.D. and Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. After completing her Clinical Pathology residency and postdoc at WUSM, she joined the Department of Pathology as a faculty member and served as Medical Director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Director of the Molecular Diagnostics Rotation for medical students, residents, and fellows at WUSM from 2009 to 2018.
The overarching goal of Dr. Payton’s research program is to elucidate mechanisms of pathogenesis in hematologic malignancy and response to infection. The foundation of these efforts is the development of bioinformatic approaches and novel informatic tools to accelerate translational epigenomic studies. These efforts comprise research in three areas, 1) epigenomic mechanisms of transcriptional dysregulation in hematologic malignancy, 2) pathogen-mediated disruption of host transcriptional immune response, and 3) the role of inhibitory immune receptors in lymphoma and bacterial infection.
Dr. Payton’s research has been published in multiple high-impact journals and she has been recognized with multiple investigator awards for seamlessly blending discovery- and hypothesis-driven research in her laboratory. Applying her research findings to the clinical realm, Dr. Payton aims to harness the power of new molecular diagnostic technologies and cutting-edge computational approaches to improve diagnosis and identify new therapeutic targets in cancer and infection.
Thuy Phung, MD, PhD is associate professor and medical director of molecular pathology & dermatopathology at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. She is spearheading efforts to enhance molecular diagnostics for cancer patients in southern Alabama by establishing rapid single-gene testing as well as actionable, cost-efficient next generation sequencing (NGS) assays. She is the lead author of Pediatric Dermatopathology, a comprehensive textbook in the field. Dr. Phung pursues translational research in vascular anomalies in children, with a focus on identifying key molecular pathways that drive the development and growth of these lesions and developing new therapy targeting these pathways. In addition to her clinical and scientific work, Dr. Phung is passionate about global health. She is a co-founder of the award-winning Vascular Anomalies Center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, which cares for thousands of underserved children with vascular anomalies. Dr. Phung also leads a program in global pathology to enhance the standards of pathology practice in Vietnam.
Beth Pitel is a Clinical Variant Scientist and Assistant Professor in the Division of Laboratory Genetics and Genomics at Mayo Clinic. Beth is the lead of the Genomics of Oncology Annotation Team (GOAT) at Mayo Clinic, which creates interpretive resources for the laboratory based on current knowledgebase content, database content, commercial oncology NGS assays, and prevalent literature.
Beth has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2007 and completed her master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular biology in 2015 with foci on cancer biology and bioinformatics at the Mayo Graduate School. Her interpretation worked has led to platform presentations at the Cancer Genomics Consortium annual meeting as well as several well-attended online webinars. Beth is an active member of the Cancer Genomics Consortium (CGC), an affiliate member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and has contributed to the ClinGen Somatic Working Group in addition to her involvement in the Variant Interpretation for Cancer Consortium (VICC) as a co-director and a co-lead for the VICC virtual molecular tumor board.
Beth has co-authored over 35 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is frequently involved in clinical and translational research in the Mayo Clinic Genomics Laboratory within the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.
Brendan Reardon is a computational scientist in the Van Allen laboratory at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute focusing on clinical interpretation of individual patient molecular profiles
Dr. Sahajpal is a post-doctoral fellow at Department of Pathology, Augusta University, GA, US, and an incumbent ABMGG Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellow at Greenwood Genetic Center, Greenwood, SC, USA.
Dr. Sahajpal is involved in investigating molecular and cytogenetic methodologies for prenatal, postnatal, hematological malignancies and solid tumor applications. Dr. Sahajpal is involved in multiple projects that include a) Clinical validation and utility of optical genome mapping for different clinical applications. b) Clinical validation and test development for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus, and sequencing the SARS-CoV-2 virus for phylogenetic modelling. c) Studying the host-genome susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 via optical genome mapping. d) Application of Illumina’s TruSightOncology 500 (TSO500) for hematological malignancies and solid tumors. e) Application of ThermoFisher’s OncoScan Microarray platform for diagnostic utility in melanoma and brain tumors.
Danielle Salari is a Molecular Technologist at Atrium Health Core Laboratory. Before starting with Atrium Health, Danielle earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Transitioning from a career as a private music instructor, after graduating she started work in Burlington, North Carolina as a technologist at LabCorp in the Genomics department and held team lead and supervisory positions during her time there. Danielle is board certified in Molecular Biology through the American Society for Clinical Pathology. Her interests include molecular genetics, molecular oncology, next generation sequencing and microarray. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the viola and making art.
Dr. Jason Saliba is a Senior Scientist in the Griffith laboratory at the Washington University School of Medicine with over 10 years of experience in cancer research. Dr. Saliba’s research is focused on the development and improvement of protocols, classification guidelines, and training methods related to the curation and interpretation of clinically significant information advancing precision medicine in cancer. He was the first full-time editor of the Clinical Interpretation of Variants in Cancer (CIViC) knowledgebase, which is an open access, open source, community-driven web resource for the curation of somatic variant evidence. Dr. Saliba founded and chairs the Pediatric Cancer Curation Advancement Subcommittee (PCCAS), which is a collaboration between CIViC, the ClinGen Pediatric Cancer Taskforce, and Disease Ontology, with the goal of enhancing pediatric cancer curation and the public dissemination of high-quality childhood focused interpretations. He serves as the Coordinator of the ClinGen Somatic Cancer Clinical Domain Working Group, its Taskforces and Somatic Cancer Variant Curation Expert Panels.
Molly Schroeder, PhD, FACMG, is a clinical laboratory geneticist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Schroeder completed her doctorate at Baylor College of Medicine, followed by fellowships in clinical molecular genetics and cytogenetics at Case Western Reserve University. She then joined the Clinical Services Laboratory at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology where she served as laboratory director, overseeing a test menu including constitutional genome sequencing. In 2018 Dr. Schroeder became an Assistant Professor in the Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine, Department of Pathology and Immunology, at WashU. Her clinical activities range from karyotyping to genome sequencing in cancer.
Xiaoshan (Melody) Shao
Xiaoshan (Melody) Shao is a Ph.D. candidate of Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Working under Dr. Rachel Karchin and Dr. Valsamo Anagnostou, Melody has a research focus on creating computational methods for immuno-oncology, and on identifying biomarkers for cancer therapeutics. She has developed a deep-learning-based neoantigen predictor, MHCnuggets, and is now applying this method for immunogenic mutation (IMM) burden identifications. In this current study, the role of HLA class II-restricted neoantigens in clinical response was studied. The HLA class II IMM landscapes for two Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cohorts (n=123) and two melanoma cohorts (n=110) were characterized. Responding tumors harbored a significantly higher HLA class II IMM burden for both tumor types. High HLA class II IMM burden patients had longer survival and showed inflamed tumor microenvironments with high levels of T cell receptor (TCR) and B cell receptor (BCR) signaling both pre- and during treatment. These results suggest that HLA class II IMMs may impact responses to ICB in a manner that is distinct and complementary to HLA class I-mediated responses. Melody will be presenting this work in more details in Session 3 of this year’s Cancer Genomics Consortium. She is projected to graduate in December of 2022, and will be on the job market.
Dr. Dhanlaxmi Shetty is a Cytogeneticist. Currently, she is the Scientific Officer-E and Officer-in-charge at the Cancer Cytogenetics Department, Advanced Centre for Treatment Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), Tata Memorial Centre, a high volume laboratory with over 5,000 samples tested annually.
Dr. Shetty is a double major in Biochemistry and Zoology from the St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and a Master’s in Biochemistry from Institute of Science, Mumbai. She then did her PhD. in Applied Biology from University of Mumbai. Being part of patient care services, she felt the need to get a Diploma in Medico Legal Systems (PGDMLS) and Hospital/ Healthcare Management (PGDHHM) from Symbiosis Centre of Health Care (SCHS), Pune.
Dr. Shetty has over 10 years of experience in pre-natal, post-natal and cancer genetics from NABL and CAP accredited laboratories. She has over 50 publications in peer-reviewed, indexed journals and has been involved as PI and Co-PI for several projects at ACTREC. She has also presented her work in several national and international conferences and is also a member of many genetic bodies in India.
She is a certified Associate Genetic Counselor from the Board of Genetic Counseling (BGC), India, a clinical laboratory geneticist from European Board of Medical Genetics (EBMG) and a Registered International Technologist in Cytogenetics from American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCP), Board of certification (BOC). She has also been an NABL assessor for Genetics since 2017.
Dr. Smith is currently the Director of the Cancer Cytogenetics Laboratory at the University Health Network.
He is a dual-boarded Clinical Cytogeneticist and Clinical Molecular Geneticist certified by the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists (CCMG). Dr. Smith is also a fellow of the American College of Genetics and Genomics (FACMG) and a Certified Laboratory Geneticist (erCLG) by the European Board of Medical Genetics.
Dr. Smith completed his Master’s degree in 2000 in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto on the Pathomechanism of Costello syndrome. He completed his Ph.D. in the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto unraveling the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that control growth and cancer development at a locus on human chromosome 11 in the Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.
Rebecca Smith, PhD, FACMG is a laboratory director at Genetics Associates, Inc., a Nashville, TN-based cytogenetic and molecular pathology testing company. She will move to Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in August, 2022 to begin work as an Assistant Director for Cytogenetic and Molecular Diagnostics Laboratories within the Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology Department. She completed an ABMGG Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellowship at VUMC in July 2020. Prior to training as a clinical laboratory fellow, she received her PhD in Genetics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2009. She subsequently completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in 2013 at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital studying Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. After her postdoc, she worked in industry as a lead scientist at molecular diagnostic companies focusing on NGS bench-work, data analysis, variant classification, and reporting as well as on assay development and validation. As a fellow, she was introduced to CGC and found a welcoming and supportive community for laboratory scientists. She has served as a Junior Member of the Cancer Genomics Consortium (CGC) Board of Directors from 2020-2022. She is also is an active member of several CGC Committees and Programs: the CGC Membership Committee, the CGC Annual Program Committee, the CGC Lymphoma Working Group, the ad hoc Working Group Organizational Committee, and a founding member of the CGC Early Career Initiative. She was an organizer of the 2021 Coffee Break Mentoring Program and is excited to continue to work towards developing future programming to support early career CGC members.
Dr. Spiteri is a board-certified Cytogeneticist and Molecular Geneticist, Director of Cytogenetics and Co-Director of Clinical Genomics at Stanford Medicine. Dr. Spiteri’s research focuses on identifying novel gene-disease relationships in constitutional disorders and expanding our understanding of the genetics of hematological disorders by investigating abnormalities of uncertain significance in these areas to elucidate the underlying pathogenesis.
Erik Storrs is currently a PhD candidate in the Computation and Systems Biology program at Washington University in Saint Louis. He is particularly interested in applications of machine learning to further understanding of the tumor microenvironment.
Dr Maxine Sutcliffe has been the Director of Cytogenetics and Molecular Cytogenetics at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL for more than 30 years. She is also an Emeritus Associate Professor of Pediatrics at University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.
Genetics has always been her focus: BSc (Genetics), PhD (Developmental Genetics), both from London University (London, England); Fellowship in Molecular Genetics, St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London and subsequently dual Fellowship in Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics at the ABMGG accredited Regional Genetics Program, USF. She is also a Cytogenetics diplomate of the Canadian College of Medial Geneticists and a Founding Fellow of ACMGG.
Dr Sutcliffe has taught genetics at all levels: Medical School USF, Genetic Counseling program USF, genetics curriculum/examination committees at USF and the State of Florida and as PI for FL State Cytogenetics Technologist training program. She has led her Laboratory’s participation in POG, subsequently COG, since 1997.
She has published in numerous journals, cited in over 60 publications, two books, been invited to speak at universities, conferences and seminars across the US and UK, has been featured in three Discovery Channel programs and served as a professional expert on medical updates on Tampa Bay TV news channel. She remains passionate and committed to her chosen field and has special interest in pediatric cancer; both hematology and the solid tumors prevalent in children.
Dr Sutcliffe has been associated with CGC since the inaugural meeting in 2009; this is her twelfth CGC meeting attendance.
Dr. Wagner is an Assistant Professor at The Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine (IGM) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and in the Department of Pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. His research is focused on the development of tools and standards for advancing precision medicine and our knowledge of genomic alterations in cancers. Dr. Wagner has been recognized as a 2021 Genomic Innovator by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and is PI of several NHGRI grants supporting the computable application of genomic knowledge in clinical practice. As a member of the Institute for Genomic Medicine, Dr. Wagner is applying his research to scale the clinical interpretation of genomic variants in children with cancers. He is also a strong advocate for open science resources and initiatives, actively participating in multiple open genomic knowledge standards organizations. Dr. Wagner serves both as director of the international Variant Interpretation for Cancer Consortium (VICC; cancervariants.org) and co-leader of the Variant Representation group of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (ga4gh.org). He is also an active contributor in the ClinGen Cancer Variant Interpretation and ClinGen Data Platform committees.
Dr. Wagner has co-developed several precision medicine web tools, including the Drug-Gene Interaction Database (www.dgidb.org), the database of Clinical Interpretations of Variants in Cancer (CIViC; www.civicdb.org), and the VICC meta-knowledgebase (search.cancervariants.org). He is also a lead designer of the GA4GH Variation Representation specification, a computational framework for precisely representing and exchange biomolecular variation (vrs.ga4gh.org).
Jace Webster received his B.S. in Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology from Brigham Young University in 2019, where he worked in the lab of Dr. Marc Hansen studying small molecule drug candidates. He then enrolled in the Human and Statistical Genetics doctoral program at Washington University in St. Louis, where he joined the lab of Dr. Christopher Maher for his thesis work. He has been a part of the Maher Lab since 2020 and is primarily interested in the discovery of prognostic biomarkers in cancer and in the development of software tools for cancer genome analysis.
Alexander Wenzel is a PhD candidate in the Biomedical Informatics department at UC San Diego. He earned his B.S. in Computer Science from Northwestern University while working as a Bioinformatician in the laboratory of Dr. Jaehyuk Choi at the Northwestern University Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center studying the genomics of cutaneous lymphomas. He is currently studying in the laboratory of Dr. Jill Mesirov at UCSD, focusing on algorithms for analyzing standard and single-cell RNA-seq data in cancer.
Daynna J. Wolff
Dr. Wolff is currently a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and is the Medical Director of the Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics/Genomics Laboratories at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is certified as a Clinical Cytogeneticist and as a Clinical Molecular Geneticist by the American Board of Medical Genetics and is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Dr. Wolff completed her B.A. degree in biology at the University of Notre Dame of Maryland and her Ph.D. in Human Genetics at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Dr. Wolff did postdoctoral training at Stanford University and clinical fellowships in Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics at Case Western University. Prior to coming to MUSC in 1998, she was Director of Cytogenetic and Molecular Genetics at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals. She is active in and has held positions of responsibility in the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, the Cancer Genomics Consortium and the Association for Molecular Pathology. She has authored numerous book chapters, practice guidelines, and more than 90 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of cytogenetics, genetic laboratory standards and guidelines and molecular diagnostics. Her current research focuses on the use of DNA copy number microarray analysis to determine diagnosis of and prognosis for various tumors.
Catherine J. Wu
Catherine J. Wu, MD is a Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Association of American Physicians. She received her M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed her clinical training in Internal Medicine and Hematology-Oncology at the Brigham and Women‘s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. She joined the staff at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2000. At DFCI, she has initiated an integrated program of research and clinical activities that focuses on dissecting the basis of effective anti-tumor immunity. Her laboratory has focused on the use of genomics-based approaches to discover immunogenic antigen targets and to understand the molecular basis of therapeutic response and resistance. She has led early phase clinical trials to test personalized tumor vaccines in melanoma and glioblastoma.
Huiming Xia is a PhD Candidate in the Computational Systems & Biology program at Washington University in St. Louis. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017 with a dual degree in Computational Biology and Chemistry. Her research revolves around developing tools and algorithms for neoantigen design and improving neoantigen prioritization methods for cancer immunotherapy and personalized cancer vaccines. She is working on several research projects including the investigation of MHC anchor locations and its influence on accurate neoantigen prediction, building a web application for neaoantigen visualization (pVACview), and developing machine learning models to improve neoantigen prioritization algorithms. Most of her work has been incorporated into pVACtools (pvactools.org) to help streamline the process of neoantigen identification and prioritization.
I am from Xiamen, a beautiful island city on the coastline of China. I attained my Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. In my free time, I enjoy distance running, calligraphy, and hanging out with my two pet bunnies. I am focusing my graduate research on personalizing treatment for cancer types that still lack promising targeted therapies and/or stable noninvasive biomarkers. My main research projects seek to understand how colorectal cancer (CRC) is able to invade and metastasize. By optimizing circRNA detection methods and focusing on the biological significance of circular RNAs (circRNAs), I aim to highlight circRNAs implicated in CRC metastasis that encode small peptides and/or function in a cell-type specific manner.