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Current Fellows in the Clinical Genetics Branch

Meet the current fellows in the Clinical Genetics Branch and learn about current research training opportunities.

Bari Ballew, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Bari Ballew, Ph.D., joined the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) in March, 2012 as a postdoctoral CRTA fellow. She obtained her Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, San Diego in 2012. Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on the regulation of DNA end-processing at telomeres and at DNA double strand breaks. Dr. Ballew completed her undergraduate training at Johns Hopkins University, where she was awarded a Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellowship prior to earning her Bachelor of Science degree in molecular and cellular biology. Dr. Ballew works primarily on the telomere molecular epidemiology program with mentor Sharon A. Savage, M.D., Chief of CGB. Her current research focuses on studies of the genetic contribution of aberrant telomere biology on human disease. She is conducting studies on disease susceptibility in patients with dyskeratosis congenita, an inherited cancer predisposition syndrome, which is caused by germline mutations in telomere biology genes, and new cancer gene discovery in DCEG’s Whole Exome Sequencing initiative.

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications database)

Julia C. Gage, Ph.D., M.P.H. - Research Fellow

Julia Gage, Ph.D., M.P.H, joined DCEG as a CRTA pre-doctoral fellow in 2005 while pursuing a Ph.D. in epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Since graduating in 2008, she has worked as a post-doctoral fellow and most recently as a research fellow under the guidance of Mark Schiffman, M.D., M.P.H., senior investigator, CGB, initially in the Hormone and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch, and now in the Clinical Genetics Branch of DCEG. Her interests focus on the molecular epidemiology of human papillomavirus infection (HPV) infection and translating novel discoveries regarding the natural history of HPV into improved screening and diagnosis for cervical precancer. Working under the guidance of Dr. Schiffman and Hormuzd Katki, Ph.D., investigator, BB, Dr. Gage is leading analyses from the NCI-Kaiser Permanente Northern California Management Guidelines cohort of over 1 million women screened with HPV and cytology since 2003. Dr. Gage serves as lead analyst for NCI in the New Mexico Cervical HPV Registry Project, a statewide registry recording all cytology, HPV testing, pathology, and vaccination data, to study the impact of vaccination on screening. She is also investigating novel biomarkers to triage HPV-positive screening results in the Persistence and Progression (PaP) cohort and a DNA methylation study, under the guidance of Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D., senior investigator, HREB. Dr. Gage has an interest in adapting findings to low-resource settings and her post-doctoral projects included the validation of low-cost screening tests and coordinating the Itoju Study of HPV DNA Prevalence in Nigeria.   

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications database)

Lindsey M. Hoskins, Ph.D., M.S. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Lindsey M. Hoskins, M.S., L.G.M.F.T.

Lindsey Hoskins, Ph.D., M.S., joined the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) in 2010 as a CRTA postdoctoral fellow. For her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Hoskins worked with Mark H. Greene, M.D., former CGB Chief and senior investigator, Jennifer T. Loud, R.N., C.R.N.P., D.N.P., Assistant Branch Chief of CGB, and June A. Peters, M.S., C.G.C., L.M.F.T., senior genetic counselor in CGB, on the impact of a positive BRCA1/2 mutation test on young women's decision-making regarding couple formation and maintenance, childbearing and family planning, and risk-reducing (prophylactic) surgeries. Dr. Hoskins published a pilot study describing preliminary observations in young female mutation carriers in Family Systems and Health, which provided the foundation for her dissertation research. She was also a co-author in a Journal of Genetic Counseling report describing the evolution of the Colored Eco-Genetic Relationship Map (CEGRM), a new tool for assessing social and relational functioning among women in Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) families, and participated in two publications (Psycho-Oncology; American Journal of Public Health) describing the application of social network analysis to CEGRM data. She is currently involved in research and manuscript preparation in the area of domestic violence, with her mentors in the Department of Family Studies at the University of Maryland. Dr. Hoskins received her B.S. in family studies and psychology at the University of Arizona in 2002. She holds a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from the University of Maryland and is a licensed MFT in the state of Maryland. She has been a collaborator on Clinical Genetics Branch-related research since February of 2005.

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications database)

Nicholas Khan, B.A. – Postbaccalaureate Fellow

Nicholas Khan joined the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) as a postbaccalaureate fellow in November 2013. Mr. Khan received his B.A. in public health studies from the Johns Hopkins University and is earning an M.S.P.H. in health policy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His work prior to joining CGB includes experience with both laboratory and public health research and covers a range of topics including childhood obesity and intimate-partner violence. In DCEG, Mr. Khan works under the mentorship of Jennifer T. Loud, R.N., C.R.N.P., D.N.P., Assistant Branch Chief of CGB, and Douglas Stewart, M.D., investigator, CGB, on several projects, including the association of phenotype and DICER1 mutations in a prospective cohort.


Payal Khincha, M.B.B.S. - Clinical Fellow

Payal Khincha, M.B.B.S., has joined the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) as a clinical fellow. Dr. Khincha first came to CGB as a special volunteer and clinical collaborator in July 2012 for the research component of a clinical fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at the Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC), Washington, D.C., which she recently completed. She received her M.B.B.S. degree in 2005 from Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangalore, India, and completed her residency training in pediatrics in 2010 at Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York and CNMC, Washington D.C. Dr. Khincha began her clinical pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship at CNMC in 2011, and as part of her research component at CGB, focused on the clinical management, diagnosis, and genotype-phenotype relationships of dyskeratosis congenita (DC), a cancer-prone inherited bone marrow failure syndrome and telomere biology disorder. As a clinical fellow in CGB, Dr. Khincha works with Sharon A. Savage, M.D., Chief of CGB, on DC and telomere biology studies, and with Dr. Savage and Phuong Mai, M.D., on the Li-Fraumeni Syndrome study.

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications database)

Anand Pathak, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Anand Pathak, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., joined the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) as a postdoctoral fellow in August 2012. He earned his A.B. with Honors in biology from Harvard College in 1997. In 2007, he graduated from the MSTP Program at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine with an M.D. and a Ph.D. in molecular, cellular and biochemical pharmacology. His Ph.D. dissertation focused on understanding the role of protein phosphatase 1 and inhibitor-1 in normal and abnormal cardiac function; inhibitor-1 was determined to be an important molecular inotrope that inhibited heart failure progression. Dr. Pathak completed his clinical training and residency in preventive medicine at the University of Michigan, and earned an M.P.H. in epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2011. He is board certified in preventive medicine. Before joining CGB, Dr. Pathak worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Pathology, NIH, where he discovered a novel epigenetic biomarker for mesothelioma. Dr. Pathak has a strong interest in cancer genetics and epidemiology and has significant interest in bioinformatics. He has a genuine passion for applying these tools to large, complex data sets, and seeks to apply these skills to cancer epidemiology and genomics as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Pathak is working under the supervision of Douglas Stewart, M.D., investigator, CGB, focusing primarily on studying novel genetic variants that contribute to risk of aggregated familial cancers.

Publications in PubMed

Jenni Young, M.A., M.S., LGMFT - Predoctoral Fellow

Jenni Young, M.A., M.S., LGMFT, joined the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) of NCI as a predoctoral fellow in September, 2014. She is a first year family science doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned a B.A. in psychology and Mandarin Chinese from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an M.A. in Chinese language and culture from The Ohio State University. Ms. Young graduated from the University of Maryland’s Couple and Family Therapy M.S. Program in May and is a licensed Couple and Family Therapist in the state of Maryland. In CGB, she works with Mark H. Greene, M.D., senior investigator, and Jennifer T. Loud, R.N., C.R.N.P., D.N.P., Assistant Branch Chief, doing psychosocial and qualitative research on Li-Fraumeni syndrome families.  

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications database)

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Learn about research training opportunities in the Clinical Genetics Branch.