Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
Director of Operations, Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center
Division Director, HGSC Clinical Laboratory
B.Sc., Biology, Texas A&M University, 1982
M.Sc., Genetics, Texas A&M University, 1986
As a primary member of the BCM-HGSC faculty, I have been at the center since it was founded in 1996, when the National Human Genome Research Institute chose it for one of six pilot programs for the final phase of the Human Genome Project.
Since then I have established a long history in sequencing platform implementation and application development for human, comparative and microbial sequencing. These goals are central to the BCM-HGSC mission of advancing precision medicine through genomics which relies on a strong foundation of quality sequencing data and technology advancement. Both sequencing platform stability and production methods must be highly robust for accurate human sequencing applications. As the Director of Operations for the HGSC, my scientific interest has been the continued development of high throughput platform pipelines and applications for all elements of data generation as well as the management and operational oversight of the multidisciplinary production team required for large scale sequencing production projects. Methods include exome and regional capture hybridization, whole genome and amplicon based NexGen sequencing for variant discovery and validation. Platform development has included all major technologies including Sanger, Roche/454, Life Technologies/SOLiD, Illumina/HiSeq, Pacific Biosciences/RS and Sequel and most recently the Illumina/HiSeq X and NovaSeq platforms for high throughput Whole Genome Sequencing.
A transition of standard exome and genome methods to a clinical environment has been a major activity of the HGSC since 2011. In collaboration with the department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, the Whole Genome Laboratory (WGL, now Baylor Genetics) was established for the purpose of clinical exome sequencing. As Technical Director of the WGL, my interests focused on the development of exome and regional protocols for clinical sequencing applications. These efforts have included the development of clinical standards for exome coverage as well as appropriate reporting mechanisms in support of clinical interpretation. Currently, as a Director for the Human Genome Sequencing Center Clinical Laboratory (HGSC-CL), my interests have expanded in clinical assay development and clinical laboratory management to provide large scale production delivery of targeted NGS panels, exome, genome and RNASeq applications for clinical research in a CAP/CLIA environment. The combined HGSC laboratory expertise in large scale sequencing and clinical diagnostic sequencing has enabled funding in competitive NIH/NHGRI programs such as Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research (CSER), the Undiagnosed Disease Network (UDN) and the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network.