Dona Kanavy, Ph.D.

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Dona Kanavy graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2009 with a B.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science. She then worked in the Clinical Microbiology Lab at Duke University as a medical technologist. While there, she became interested in the fellowship program for clinical laboratories. Dona subsequently went on to receive her PhD from NC State University in 2018 in Genetics. Her graduate work under Dr. David Threadgill focused on a genetic pest management project to eradicate invasive mice from islands for the purpose of conservation. This project sought to skew the sex ratio of the mouse population by linking the Sry gene to a naturally occurring meiotic distorter in mice, the t haplotype, and ultimately eliminate the island population.

After graduation, Dona joined the Berg Lab as a postdoc. Her role as a molecular analyst in the NCGENES2 project, a clinical research study, involves interpreting the clinical validity of variants. She is also a part of ClinGen, where her focus is on evaluating “well-established” functional studies in variant interpretation as part of the ACMG guidelines. Dona aspires to become a Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellow and believes that all the experience she is gaining working in the Berg lab will make for an easier transition to a clinical genetics laboratory.

In her free time, Dona enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, having tea parties, and spending time with her family.