Ms. Kristy Lee has been promoted to Research Professor in the Department of Genetics, effective November 1, 2023.
Ms. Lee received her B.S. in Animal Science (minors in Genetics and Nutrition) from North Carolina State University in 2000, followed by a M.S. in Genetic Counseling from UNC-Greensboro in 2002. Ms. Lee became a Certified Genetic Counselor (CGC) and Diplomat of the American Board of Genetic Counseling in August 2005. Ms. Lee served as a Clinical and Laboratory Genetic Counselor at the Greenwood Genetic Center (Greenwood SC, October 2003-August 2007). She was appointed as a Genetic Counselor and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at UNC-Chapel Hill in August 2007 and was promoted to Research Associate Professor in November 2014. Ms. Lee was appointed Professor (adjunct) at UNC-Greensboro in January 2022.
Ms. Lee’s research program has always been driven by a keen interest in helping patients understand the genetic causes of disease. She was a very early adopter of using genome sequencing in patient populations to solve complicated family histories and was a key member of the Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) consortium that focused on exome sequencing to lessen or eliminate the diagnostic odyssey for patients. Ms. Lee has been a key clinical partner in the UNC Kittner Eye Center and secured NC Tracs funding to offer state-of-the-art genetic testing and molecular analysis to patients. This experience allowed Ms. Lee to join the ClinGen Consortium as a coordinator and biocurator where she now focuses on retinal dystrophies and bleeding disorders. She was the founding coordinator of the ClinGen Platelet Disorders expert panel which was the first effort to expand ClinGen’s role into non-malignant hematologic disorders. She also served as the first coordinator of the TP53 expert panel that provided new data into germline variant classification for this cancer susceptibility gene. Ms. Lee was asked to co-chair the Data Access, Protection and Confidentiality working group for ClinGen and her committee has implemented multiple policies for data sharing across the network of more than 60 expert panels. Through her involvement and leadership in ClinGen, Ms. Lee has expanded her clinical and translational research focus and has brought genetic counseling approaches to bear on precision medicine, especially by establishing recommendations for classification of genomic variants in hematology, cancer, retinal diseases, and secondary findings.