Key words: Medical Genetics, Clinical Cancer Genetics, Personalized Medicine
I recently joined the Cancer Genetics Clinic at UNC after completing the four year residency program in Clinical Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. This unique four-year program was aimed at providing training broadly across all facets of Clinical Genetics and I thus have equal experience in both Pediatric and Adult genetics. In the Cancer Genetics Clinic I will be primarily involved in the evaluation of individuals with a strong family history of cancer. The goal is to identify the primary genetic etiology for their cancer susceptibility and provide additional information that will help guide the management of the disease.
My current research interests involve the clinical translation of modern genetic diagnostic technologies to improve patient care. Cancer is an ideal model system for this goal, since cancer is quite prevalent as a whole and there are clearly genetic underpinnings to most types of cancer (despite the rarity of true familial cancer syndromes). At UNC, I will be assuming the position of Principal Investigator for the Carolina-Georgia Center of the Cancer Genetics Network funded by the National Cancer Institute, a multicenter study aimed at developing a registry of cancer patients and their family members in order to facilitate scientific investigations. I am also interested in extending my earlier interest in copy number variation to examine whether rare and/or common structural variants might play a role in predisposition to cancer.
In addition to cancer-related interests, I hope to pursue additional lines of clinical/translational investigation into the use of diagnostic and predictive testing in adult medicine subspecialties, with the primary goal of determining the clinical utility and cost-benefit ratio of predictive genetic testing in order to ensure that this technology is used in an evidence-based fashion.