I am a Senior Scientist at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and an NIH K99 Pathway to Independence recipient. I am excited to be joining the Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology department (https://https://www.uab.edu/medicine/cdib/) at the UAB School of Medicine as a tenure track assistant professor in the summer of 2019.
I use genomic strategies and data to study complex diseases like cancer, neurodegnerative diseases, and psychiatric disorders with the goal of discovering biological signatures that might be used to improve patient care and provide insight into the molecular processes contributing to disease. My recent work includes the identification of gene variants linked to ALS, characterization of gene expression patterns in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and development of non-invasive cancer biomarkers. I am currently focused on integrating genomic data, functional annotations, and patient information with machine learning across complex diseases to discover novel mechanisms in disease etiology and progression, identify therapeutic targets and biomarkers, and understand genomic changes associated with patient survival. In particular I am interested in understanding how context dependency contributes to complex diseases including tissue specificity, gene dosage levels, and genomic alterations. Based upon those analyses, I am building tools to share with the scientific community. I am also passionate about science education and community outreach.
Postdoc in Genetics and Genomics, 2017
HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
PhD in Biotechnology Science and Engineering, 2013
University of Alabama in Huntsville
BSc in Biological Engineering, 2008
Mississippi State University
Mississippi School for Math and Science
Discovery of kidney cancer diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic signatures
Identification of causal variants and genes in neurodegenerative disease
I am passionate about both science education and community outreach at all levels.
Here are some of my recent efforts:
Co-lead instructor of a Software Carpentry Workshop at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. (8-9 March 2018) on Unix shell, Git version control, and R programming.
Selected presentation for the Biotweeps Twitter Conference 2017, Online (28-30 June 2017): “RNA sequencing-based cell proliferation analysis across 19 cancers identifies a subset of proliferation-informative cancers with a common survival signature.” I also hosted Biotweeps the week of November 13-18, 2017.
Invited presentation for Women Who Code-Huntsville Chapter Series in Huntsville, AL (27 June 2017): “An Introduction to Machine Learning and Genomics.”
Content developer and instructor for an undergraduate workshop at the International Society for Computational Biology Regional Student Group – Southeast USA Computational Biology Symposium in Columbia, SC (8-9 December 2017): “A hands-on introduction to machine learning.”
Faculty Advisor for the International Society for Computational Biology Regional Student Group Southeast USA group