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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Karen Funderburk, M.S., joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) in 2019 as a postbaccalaureate fellow in the laboratory of Kevin Brown, Ph.D., senior investigator. Ms. Funderburk received a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in mathematics with a minor in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2017, and an M.S. in applied mathematics from Arizona State University, Tempe, in 2019. During her time at Arizona State, Ms. Funderburk worked as a summer intern at the National Human Genome Research Institute, where she applied machine learning methods to DNA methylation data across multiple cancer types to determine optimal tumor classification techniques.

Ms. Funderburk is using bioinformatic tools to identify functional variants of melanoma and lung cancer risk loci reported in genome-wide association studies, under the mentorship of Dr. Brown and co-mentorship of Jiyeon Choi, Ph.D., M.S., Earl Stadtman Investigator.