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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention
 

Current Fellows in the Laboratory of Translational Genomics

Meet the fellows in the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) and learn about their work.

Laufey Amundadottir Lab

  • Trevor Christensen, B.A.

    Mr. Christensen, postbaccalaureate fellow in LTG, is characterizing the functional implications of a pancreatic cancer genome-wide association study signal at the promoter of PDX1 on chr13q12.2, and analyzing transcriptomic and epigenomic data of purified cells from normal pancreatic tissue, under the mentorship of Dr. Laufey Amundadottir and Dr. Jason Hoskins.

  • Katherine E. Hullin, B.S.

    Ms. Hullin, postbaccalaureate fellow in LTG, investigates functional variants at genetic risk loci and the mechanisms by which they influence pancreatic cancer risk, under the mentorship of Dr. Laufey Amundadottir, senior investigator, and Katelyn Connelly.

  • Aidan O’Brien, M.Pharm., M.Sc.

    Mr. O'Brien, predoctoral fellow in LTG, studies the functional characterization of susceptibility variants identified through genome-wide association studies and the identification of novel non-coding driver mutations in pancreatic cancer. His mentor is Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D.

  • Minal B. Patel, Ph.D.

    Dr. Patel, postdoctoral fellow in LTG, focuses her research on the functional characterization of inherited variants identified through genome-wide association studies and their role in pancreatic cancer risk. Her mentor is Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D.

  • Gauri Prasad, Ph.D.

    Dr. Prasad, postdoctoral fellow with a joint appointment to the laboratories of Dr. Laufey Amundadottir, LTG, and Dr. Efsun Arda, CCR. Dr. Prasad focuses her research on understanding the effects of genetic variation on pancreas cancer risk using a systems biology approach that integrates genetic variation with cell-type resolved gene expression, DNA methylation, open chromatin features, and three-dimensional chromatin interactions under the mentorship of Dr. Amundadottir and Dr. Arda.

  • Jun Zhong, Ph.D.

    Dr. Zhong, research fellow in LTG, focuses his research on identifying inherited variants associated with risk of pancreatic cancer using various genome-wide approaches, understanding the biology of germline risk variants using genomic technologies, and identifying non-coding somatic mutations that drive pancreatic carcinogenesis. His mentor is Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D.

Kevin Brown Lab

  • Abigail J. Dennis, M.S.

    Ms. Dennis, postbaccalaureate fellow in LTG, performs functional characterization of both common sequence variants and familial risk variants associated with melanoma at the 9p21 locus, under the mentorship of Kevin Brown, Ph.D., senior investigator.

  • Rebecca Hennessey, Ph.D.

    Dr. Hennessey, postdoctoral fellow in LTG, utilizes screening methods to functionally characterize multiple and complex melanoma susceptibility loci that were identified via genome-wide association studies. Her mentor is Kevin Brown, Ph.D.

  • Hyunkyung Kong, Ph.D.

    Dr. Kong, postdoctoral fellow in LTG, performs functional characterization of susceptibility variants identified by genome-wide association studies, and how they influence the risk of melanoma. Her mentor is Kevin Brown, Ph.D.

  • Thomas Rehling, M.S.

    Mr. Rehling, postbaccalaureate fellow in LTG, is developing a computational pipeline for statistical and functional fine-mapping of UK Biobank-based genetic associations in skin pigmentation. Additionally, he is exploring the role of UVB-exposure on skin pigmentation via analyzing longitudinal RNA-seq datasets generated from UV-exposed melanocytes. His mentor is Kevin Brown, Ph.D., senior investigator.

  • Rohit Thakur, Ph.D.

    Dr. Thakur, postdoctoral fellow in LTG, performs integrative genomic analyses of melanocyte and melanoma genomic and epigenomic datasets to understand genes, molecular mechanisms, and environmental interactions underlying melanoma susceptibility. His mentors are Kevin M. Brown, Ph.D., and Mitchell Machiela, Sc.D., M.P.H.

Jiyeon Choi Lab

  • Alyxandra Golden, B.A.

    Ms. Golden, postbaccalaureate fellow in LTG, performs functional characterization of associated risk loci for lung cancer. Her mentor is Jiyeon Choi, Ph.D., M.S.

  • Alexander Kane, B.A.

    Mr. Kane, postbaccalaureate fellow in LTG, is working to characterize transcription factors which can effect molecular pathways of IRF4 expression in various cell types associated with lung cancer and melanoma. His mentor is Jiyeon Choi, Ph.D.

  • Erping Long, M.D., Ph.D.

    Dr. Long, postdoctoral fellow in LTG, conducts research that leverages computational approaches and large-scale functional genomics resources to understand genetic susceptibility to lung cancer and melanoma. His mentor is Jiyeon Choi, Ph.D., M.S.

  • Thong Luong, Ph.D.

    In LTG, Dr. Luong, postdoctoral fellow, is currently working on characterizing the chromatin landscape in lung cell models to functionally link how genomic variants may lead to lung cancer development. His mentor is Jiyeon Choi, Ph.D., Head, Jiyeon Choi Laboratory and Earl Stadtman investigator.

  • Harsh Patel, Ph.D.

    Dr. Patel, postdoctoral fellow in LTG, works on functional characterization of the genes and molecular pathways associated with genetic variants that contribute to risk of melanoma and lung cancer development. His mentor is Jiyeon Choi, Ph.D., M.S.

Michael Dean Lab

  • Nina Rao, Ph.D.

    Dr. Rao, postdoctoral fellow in LTG, studies the effects of germline SNPs on mRNA splicing and chromatin conformation with Nanopore and Illumina sequencing platforms in the laboratory of Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D.

  • Isabel Rodriguez, B.S.

    Ms. Isabel Rodriguez, postbaccalaureate fellow in LTG is working on liver tumor samples from Central America, looking at mutations primarily caused by aflatoxin. She is also analyzing retinoblastoma samples with the goal of spotting mutations across the RB1 gene. Her mentor is Michael Dean, Ph.D., senior investigator, LTG.

  • Jesica Godinez Paredes, M.B.S.

    Ms. Godinez Paredes, postbaccalaureate fellow in LTG, is conducting breast cancer and cervical cancer research in low- and middle-income countries, with the goal of finding potential new variants affecting these populations—while also allowing for improved genetic testing and prevention of early-onset disease. Her mentor is Michael Dean, Ph.D., senior investigator.

Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson Lab

  • Francine S. Baker, M.S.

    Ms. Baker, postbaccalaureate fellow and iCURE scholar in LTG, explores the connection between Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infection and IFNL4, and its relation to health disparity. Her mentors are Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D., and Sam Mbulaiteye, MBChB, M.Phil., M.Med., Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch.

  • Oscar Florez-Vargas, Ph.D., M.Sc.

    Dr. Florez-Vargas, research fellow in LTG, is studying multiple genomic regions that have been associated via genome-wide association studies with increased risk of several cancers. His mentor is Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D.

  • Kaitlin Forsythe, B.S.A.

    Ms. Forsythe, postbaccalaureate fellow in LTG, works on a project related to genetics and genomics of bladder cancer. Specifically, she is working on developing primary urothelial cultures and uses them for functional studies. Her mentor is Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D.

  • Michelle Ho, Ph.D.

    Dr. Ho, postdoctoral fellow in LTG, is using CRISPR-based methods to screen genetic risk variants and functionally characterize their relationships to bladder cancer development. Her mentor is Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D.

  • Maxwell H. Hogshead, B.S.

    Mr. Hogshead, postbaccalaureate and iCURE Scholar, is exploring the interplay between genetic variants, environmental exposures and bladder cancer risk, with a special focus on epitranscriptomics and long-read sequencing applications, under the mentorship of Dr. Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson.

  • Brenen Papenberg, Ph.D.

    Dr. Papenberg, postdoctoral fellow in LTG, uses computational and laboratory methods to investigate several genomic regions that are associated with increased risk of bladder cancer. His mentor is Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D.

  • Timothy Ring, B.S.

    Mr. Ring, postbaccalaureate fellow in LTG, conducts CRISPR-based research into liver cancer as well as working to better characterize the novel interferon IFNL4 and its roles in chronic infection and cancer development. His mentor is Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D.