The Department of Genetics is pleased to welcome Dara McDougal, MS as Assistant Professor/Genetic Counselor and Susana Garcia-Recio, PhD as Assistant Professor.
Ms. McDougal earned her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences from North Carolina Central University and her Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dara’s clinical focus includes adult cancer genetics and increasing the genetic services in underserved communities. Her previous research includes, investigating the role of microRNAs in African American Diabetic women, Toll-Like Receptor genetic variants and their role in prostate cancer susceptibility among men of African Descent, and the challenges associated with the development of community-based research.
Dr. Garcia-Recio received her Ph.D. in the School of Medicine at the University of Barcelona, Spain. In 2015, she joined Dr. Charles Perou’s laboratory at the University of North Carolina at the Department of Genetics and was awarded a Susan G. Komen Postdoctoral Fellow to pursue the identification of genetic drivers in non-basal breast cancer subtypes. During her postdoc, Dr. Garcia-Recio identified a potential genetic driver of metastatic disease, the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR4) gene. She demonstrated that the survival activity and proliferation derived from FGFR4 activation induced the departure from luminal-like programming toward HER2E-like subtype, which predicted a worse clinical outcome for breast cancer patients. She became Research Associate in 2020 and has been appointed as Assistant Professor to continue working on finding new targeted therapies for metastatic patients.