Valencia Owens joined DCEG as a postbaccalaureate fellow in 2019 with a joint appointment in the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB) and the Cancer Genomics Research Laboratory (CGR). She graduated from the University of Minnesota (UMN), Minneapolis, with her B.S. in psychology. As an undergraduate student, Ms. Owens worked at the UMN STEM Cell Institute under Dr. Jakub Tolar, where she was involved in studies of childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (ccALD). Subsequently, Ms. Owens completed her capstone project in a neuroscience lab under Dr. Nicola Grissom at UNM; she investigated correlations between learned behavior and the nucleus accumbens.
Ms. Owens is working on functional studies of variants discovered in exon sequencing studies and will work on variant genomics using bioinformatic tools. Her mentors in CGB are Sharon A. Savage, M.D., Chief and senior investigator, and Lisa J. McReynolds, M.D., Ph.D., assistant clinical investigator. Her mentor in CGR is Seth Brodie, Ph.D., senior investigator.