Mentors

On this page:

Program Directors

Geoff GinsburgGeoffrey Ginsburg M.D., Ph.D. (primary mentor) is the founding Director of Genomic Medicine at Duke University and of the newly formed Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine (DCAGPM). Since joining the Duke faculty in 2004, he has mentored over 30 pre- and post-doctoral trainees, house-staff, fellows and faculty, of which >95% have continued in academic/industry research positions. He has more than 30 years of experience in genomics -- both laboratory and clinical research. Dr. Ginsburg has been the PI on grants from NIH (NCI, NHLBI, NHGRI, NIGMS), the DOD (DARPA, US Air Force, US Army, NMRC), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wallace Coulter Foundation, as well as sponsored research from several industry sponsors. His research covers a broad base of genomic medicine that includes infectious disease, cardiovascular disease, oncology, metabolic disease, and pharmacogenomics. Through his participation on national and international committees, he has amassed a considerable network of colleagues and resources.  In addition to providing a wealth of opportunities and expertise to the young investigators under his mentorship, these contacts have also provided the basis for building local, national, and international recognition for young investigators.

Susanne HagaSusanne Haga, Ph.D. (co-mentor) is Director of Educational Programs in the DCAGPM and as such, currently oversees the undergraduate, graduate and fellow/post doc education initiatives in DCAGPM. Her research focuses on exploring barriers and facilitators to the use and integration of genomic applications in a variety of clinical care environments and in diverse populations, using pharmacogenetic testing as an exemplar. She has served as the PI on several NIH funded projects on the delivery models for pharmacogenetics testing, educational interventions related to genetic/genomic applications, and the study of the ethical, legal, and social issues in genetics and genomics, particularly pharmacogenetic testing. She has a diverse background in both science and policy, working on policy issues for several groups including the NIH Office of Science Policy and non-profit sector.

-Top of Page-


General Genomic Medicine

Lori OrlandoLori A. Orlando, M.D., M.H.S. (primary mentor) is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University and is Associate Director of Precision Medicine in DCAGPM. Her major research interests in genomic medicine focus on translational research on family history the impact of genetics and genomics on clinical practice, and decision modeling/making. She is co-PI of the ‘Implementation, Adoption and Utility of Family History in Diverse Care Settings” demonstration project supported by NHGRI’s IGNITE network. Dr. Orlando leads the Genomic Medicine Model effort, a multi-institutional project with the goal of implementing personalized medicine in primary care practices. Dr. Orlando has mentored several clinical trainees and practices primary care medicine at the Duke Executive Health Program.

Shelby ReedShelby Reed Ph.D. (primary mentor) is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, and Center for Clinical and Genetic Economics. Her research in genomic medicine focuses on economic evaluation of new diagnostics used in personalized medicine. Dr. Reed has a long history of bridging her research projects with mentoring medical students and post-doctoral fellows interested in cost-effectiveness research or economics of genomic medicine.

 

Corrine VoilsCorrine Voils, PhD (primary mentor) is a Research Health Science Specialist in the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. As a social psychologist, Dr. Voils’ focus in genomic medicine is translational research, assessing the behavioral impact of interventions such as genetic testing for type II diabetes. She has provided mentorship to several fellows and junior faculty, serves as the leader of the junior faculty development curriculum, Associate Director of the General Internal Medicine fellowship in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Duke, and the Director of the VA fellowship program for the Durham VA Center of Innovation.

-Top of Page-


Nephrology Genomic Medicine

Thomas CoffmanThomas Coffman M.D. (primary mentor) is Professor of Cell Biology and Immunology and Dean of the Duke-National University of Singapore School of Medicine. He maintains an active research laboratory on the Duke campus. His research in genomic medicine focuses on the genetic factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of hypertension, specifically the EP4 receptor for PGE2, through development of genetically modified mouse models and EP4 receptor antagonists to provide new insights into the role of EP4 receptors in cardiovascular regulation. He served as the director of the Duke Nephrology Fellowship Program from 1997-2004, and has mentored more than 25 post-doctoral trainees.

-Top of Page-


Cardiology Genomic Medicine

William KrausWilliam Kraus, M.D. (primary mentor) is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Duke University Medical Center. His research in genomic medicine spans a range of basic and translational areas including the genetics of human integrative exercise physiology, animal exercise models, and the genetics of early onset cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, and metabolic syndrome. He has trained 13 post-doctoral fellows and received the Translational Research Mentoring Award from the School of Medicine in 2013.

Arthur MoseleyArthur Moseley Ph.D. (co-mentor) is the Director of Metabolomics and Proteomics at Duke University. His work in genomic medicine has involved numerous collaborations in studies characterizing metabolomic and proteomic profiles in healthy and affected individuals using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). He has been actively engaged in training and educational initiatives on LC-MS/MS, has been an instructor for short courses in "LC/MS" and the characterization of proteins and peptides by mass spectrometry at the National Conference of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, and been a co-instructor of the course offered at Duke on Modern Techniques in Molecular Biology.

Svati ShahSvati Shah M.D. (primary mentor) is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology, Vice-Chair of Translational Research, and a faculty member in the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute. Her research in genomic medicine focuses on the molecular epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, particularly atherosclerosis, utilizing diverse, integrated genetic and genomic techniques for identification of biomarkers and novel mechanisms. She has substantial experience as a primary and secondary mentor to many postdoctoral fellows, cardiology fellows, graduate students, medical residents and medical students, has served as the Associate Director of the Cardiology Fellowship for ten years, providing research and career mentorship to 40 cardiology fellows enrolled in the program, and has received a mentorship award from the Division of Cardiology at Duke.

Deepak VooraDeepak Voora M.D. (co-mentor) is Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology. His research in genomic medicine focuses on systems pharmacogenomics of antiplatelet and other drugs that utilizes transcriptomic profiling and metabolomics in drug exposure studies. In order to translate findings from the challenge model to “real world” outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease, he actively collaborates with investigators at Duke and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, which houses large biorepositories from past studies or from participants in randomized clinical trials, and enables testing of molecular signatures of drug response with outcomes of drug efficacy and toxicity. In addition, he is leading a prospective randomized controlled trial of genotype-guided statin therapy. Dr. Voora is spearheading an effort to create a clinical pharmacogenomics consultation service that should see its first patients in the fall.

-Top of Page-


Infectious Disease Genomic Medicine

Andrew AlspaughAndrew Alspaugh, M.D. (co-mentor) is Professor of Medicine in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. Dr. Alspaugh is a clinician-scientist with a research focus in genomic medicine on the molecular pathogenesis of human fungal infections. He has been the primary research mentor for five PhD graduate students and three post-doctoral fellows, in addition to numerous undergraduate and medical students. As a clinician, he has served on the Research Advisory teams for eight clinical fellows. Dr. Alspaugh is the chair of the Basic Science branch of the Department of Medicine Faculty Development Academy and provides mentorship to new faculty in the department as well.

Vance FowlerVance Fowler, M.D. (primary mentor) is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease, and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. Much of his research on antibiotic resistant bacteria uses genomics-based approaches including GWAS, whole exome sequencing, SNP discovery, and candidate gene discovery with in vivo model systems. In addition, he established the Duke Blood Stream Infection Biorepository, a unique resource of ~2000 prospectively enrolled patients with Gram-Negative Bacterial Blood Stream Infection that includes clinical data, bloodstream isolates, patient DNA, and patient serum for genomic medicine research. Dr. Fowler has extensive experience in mentoring investigators in multidisciplinary research, with 36 research trainees.

Chris WoodsChristopher Woods, MD, MPH (primary mentor) is Professor in the Department of Medicine in Pathology and Global Health, and is Associate Director of Applied Genomics in DCAGPM. His research focuses on infectious diseases, including diagnostics and prevention of spread. He has studied biomarkers and -omics signatures for various diseases such as viral respiratory infections, pneumococcal pneumonia, and ventilator-associated pneumonia. He has received awards at Duke University for both his teaching and mentoring of medical students. Trainees with Dr. Woods will have the opportunity to work on clinical genomic research, particularly in the area of infectious diseases.

-Top of Page-


Oncology Genomic Medicine

Sandeep DaveSandeep Dave, M.D., M.S. (co-mentor) is Associate Professor, Duke University Medical Center, and Director of the Cancer Genetics and Genomics Program, Duke Cancer Institute. He brings a broad background in oncology and genomics. His postdoctoral work focused on the application of genomics to develop diagnostic and prognostic models in patients with lymphoma. He has led an independent research program focused on the genetic mechanisms underlying lymphomas.

Michael Kelley M.D. (co-mentor) is Professor of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center and National Program Director for Oncology, Department of Veterans Affairs. His genetic and genomic medicine research in oncology has focused on areas the genetic alterations in lung cancer, drug response, determining metastases from second primary cancers and the application of patient-specific mutations in immunotherapy. He has also identified and studied rare familial hematologic and oncology conditions.

P. Kelly MarcomP. Kelly Marcom M.D. (primary mentor) is Associate Professor, Department of Medicine and Co-Director of Breast Cancer Clinical Research at the Duke Cancer Institute. His career has focused on improving cancer care through the development of personalized and precision management using genomic-based approaches. His research efforts in genomic medicine focus germline and somatic tumor genetics, primarily through study of breast cancer treatment and genotype-guided therapies. He established the Hereditary Cancer Clinic at the Duke Cancer Institute in 1999.  This clinical site will serve as one of the clinical rotations for trainees. He has been a key faculty member in the oncology fellowship-training program, and has mentored several fellows in clinical and translational cancer research.

Steven PatiernoSteven Patierno, PhD (co-mentor) is Professor of Medicine; Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology; Professor of Community and Family Medicine; and Director of Population Sciences and Health Services at Duke Cancer Institute. His laboratory studies the molecular and cellular biology of chemical carcinogenesis, DNA damage and damage responses, DNA repair and cellular/mitochondrial death/survival signaling pathways. He has also received multiple NCI grants to study the molecular and cellular biology of lung, breast and prostate cancer focusing on mechanisms of drug resistance and invasive metastasis, cancer disparities, and genomics and epigenomics of prostate cancer disparities. He has an extensive record of successful training of more than 40 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and currently serves as Co-PI on an NIH T32 Training Grant in Environmental Health.

Dawn ProvenzaleDawn Provenzale, M.D., M.S. (primary mentor), is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Durham Epidemiologic Research and Information Center (ERIC) at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She has been the PI on genomic research to inform the integration of genomics into clinical care for colon cancer in the VA population; and the development of a Gulf War era cohort and biorepository. She also received funding to develop a training program in statistical genetics methodologies for the analytic staff at ERIC to support this area of research in the Cooperative Studies Program. She has a long history of experience in mentoring trainees in GI Outcomes Research. In conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Service, she developed the first program in the country to train gastroenterology fellows and young faculty in outcomes research.

Neil SpectorNeil Spector, M.D. (co-mentor) is Associate Professor of Medicine in Oncology and has a long standing interest in the application of genomic and proteomic strategies to inform the selection of targeted therapies in cancer. His genomic medicine research focuses on the application of genomic and other “omic” technologies to inform the personalized treatment of cancer patients. His current research program continues his research when he was the Director of Exploratory Medical Sciences (Oncology) at GlaxoSmithKline from 1998-2006, where he led the translational research program that facilitated the approval of lapatinib, the only small molecule HER2 and EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor currently FDA approved for the treatment of patients with HER2+ breast cancer and used genomic analysis to identify drug resistance. He also led the development of nelarabine, an ara-G prodrug approved by the FDA for the treatment of T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He has a successful mentoring record, mentoring several Duke oncology fellows as part of the Duke-GSK Fellowship Program in Drug Development.

Qianben WangQianben Wang, Ph.D. (primary mentor) is a Professor of Pathology in the Duke School of Medicine. His research focuses on understanding the epigenetic mechanisms driving progression of hormone-dependent cancers. One key area of his research is studying the genomic function of androgen receptor (AR) in prostate cancer. His laboratory utilizes high-throughput techniques such as ChIP-exo (chromatin immunoprecipitation-exonuclease combined with high-throughput sequencing) and ChIP-seq (ChIP combined with high-throughput sequencing) to globally identify AR-bound genomic sites and precisely define AR binding motifs leading to target gene expression, cancer progression and treatment resistance. His work has also expanded to include a wider view of global transcriptional regulation in prostate cancer. These efforts have included studies of transcription factor-centered, multi-layer transcription regulatory networks in prostate cancer, which involve transcription factors (e.g. AR, FOXA1, GATA2 and CREB1), transcription coactivators (e.g. Mediator and histone acetyltransferases), and epigenetic regulators (e.g. histone modifications, chromatin looping and nucleosome positioning).

Qingyi WeiQingyi Wei M.D., Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Professor and Associate Director of the Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center. Trained as a molecular epidemiologist, his research in genomic medicine focuses on genetic susceptibility to cancers. In particular, it largely focuses on prost-genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and applying novel statistical approaches to re-analyze published GWAS datasets for various cancers, including cancers of the lung and skin. His research also includes pathway analysis of genetic variants, such as those involved in DNA repair and apoptosis to identify cancer risk markers. In the past decade, he has trained more than a dozen post-doctoral fellows.

-Top of Page-


Hematology and Immunology Genomic Medicine

Nelson ChaoNelson Chao M.D., Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Professor of Medicine and Immunology; Chief, Division of Cellular Therapy; and Director of the Duke Global Cancer Program. His research in genomic medicine includes the development of a peripheral blood gene expression signature of radiation injury using the research CLPA assay and to conduct clinical testing and external validation studies of the assay for FDA approval. He has mentored doctoral and postdoctoral trainees. His mentoring experience and expertise in immunology genetics and genomics research will benefit trainees in the proposed program with interests in this area.

Thomas OrtelThomas Ortel, M.D., Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Chief of the Division of Hematology at Duke, Director of the Duke Thrombosis & Hemostasis Center, and Medical Director of the Clinical Coagulation and Platelet Antibody Laboratories. His clinical interest and research expertise in genomic medicine focuses on hemostatic and thrombotic disorders, particularly rare antibody-mediated thrombotic disorders including characterization of whole blood RNA expression profiles from patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE), characterization of anti-thrombotic effects of an aptamer targeted against von Willebrand factor, genetic studies of patients with APS and the catastrophic thrombotic syndrome defined as thrombotic storm, and an ongoing surveillance project to determine the incidence of VTE in Durham County. He is an Associate Director for the Transfusion Medicine and Hematology T32 in the Division of Hematology, and mentored numerous trainees.

David RizzieriDavid Rizzieri M.D. (primary mentor) is Professor of Medicine, Division of Cellular Therapy. As a translational researcher, his work in genomic medicine has focused on Phase I trials Phase one trials with novel anti-cancer agents targeting aurora kinases, tyrosine kinases, mtor, VEGF, and raf/ras pathways. He has also developed novel approaches for the care of patients using non-myeloablative allogeneic therapy to optimize a less toxic regimen for transplant of patients with hematologic malignancies using haplo-identical, as well as matched donors.

-Top of Page-


Gastroenterology Genomic Medicine

Katherine Garman M.D. (co-mentor) is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Durham Veteran's Affairs Medical Center. Her research in genomic medicine is focused on improving early-detection of high-risk human esophageal disease such as characterizing miRNA expression in pre-malignant esophagus and esophageal tumors, and decreasing mortality associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma. She serves as PI for the Duke GI Tissue Repository, which includes banked tissue and blood samples, clinical and survey data from enrolled patients undergoing endoscopy, and as site PI for Duke’s tissue source site for the stomach and esophageal group of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Project through NIH. The vast genomic datasets from TCGA and the tissue repository offer a unique resource to trainees for further analysis and validation.

Anna Mae DiehlAnna Mae Diehl M.D., Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Florence McAlister Professor of Medicine and Director, Duke Liver Center, Division of Gastroenterology. Her research in genomic medicine focuses on investigation of basic regulatory mechanisms for liver regeneration/fibrosis, as well as training in biobanking and genomic/transcriptomic/metabolomics profiling of large clinical sample repositories, and clinical trials design/implementation. She was the PI of the Duke GI T32 Training Program from 2004-2014. Trainees with research interests in genomics and liver disease will benefit from her well-resourced research laboratory and extensive mentoring experience. Over the past 25 years she has worked with an array of trainees in her lab, ranging from high school students to post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty members and has served as primary research mentor for over 70 individuals.

-Top of Page-


Endocrinology and Metabolism Genomic Medicine

Larry Moss Larry Moss Ph.D. (co-mentor) is Associate Professor of Medicine and Senior Investigator in the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute. His research career has been primarily focused on basic genetics research of the pancreatic islet, specifically using the zebrafish model to study embryonic pancreatic development and adult islet regeneration using genetics/genomics technology bioinformatics analysis.  As a practicing endocrinologist, he is now involved in translational studies of genetics, genomics and metabolism in human neuroendocrine neoplasia, and has initiated collaborations with the Duke Cancer Institute to study both primary and secondary neuroendocrine cancers using -omics approaches and zebrafish models.

Christopher Newgard Christopher Newgard Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology and Medicine; and Director of the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center and Duke Molecular Physiology Institute (DMPI). In these centers, his team has developed a comprehensive metabolic profiling (“metabolomics”) platform to support the genomic medicine research of his own laboratory, as well as numerous collaborating laboratories at Duke and at outside institutions. His metabolomics laboratory has a long track record of collaborations, often providing major assistance to fellows in other T32 programs here at Duke. He has mentored several T32-supported fellows in his career.

-Top of Page-


Pulmonary Genomic Medicine

Scott PalmerScott Palmer, M.D. (primary mentor) is Associate Professor of Medicine; Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Medicine; and Associate Director of the Clinical Research Training Program, Duke School of Medicine. His research in genomic medicine focuses on the genetic mechanisms that influence the innate immune host response to lung allografts. He has served as primary mentor for 21 individuals and co-mentor or Master’s committee chair for an additional 18 individuals. As PI of Clinical Trials in Organ Transplant (CTOT), a grant funded through 2019 by NIAID, he leads a large multicenter program of clinical and mechanistic research in lung transplantation ensuring trainees will work in a robust and well-funded research environment with educational opportunities and access to a diverse range of mentors.

-Top of Page-


Molecular Genetics and Genomics

Ashley ChiAshley Chi M.D., Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. He has extensive experience designing, performing and analyzing genomic data. His lab has published many studies on the use of genomic analysis to dissect the influence of lactic acidosis, various tumor microenvironmental stresses and nutrient signaling on cancer cells and has projected these changes to human tumors to dissect the heterogeneity of human cancers. He has significant experience training several pre-doctoral students and four post-doctoral fellows in the field of cancer, RNAi and microRNA biology. He has trained eight PhD students from Duke MGM and UPGG program. He will contribute to the trainees' development in terms of rotations to both molecular biology (wet) and bioinformatics analysis (dry) side of genomic sciences in a highly integrative and collaborative environment, and to mentor them in related research.

Simon GregorySimon Gregory, Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Associate Professor in the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute. Dr. Gregory has 22 years of molecular genetics research experience gained in the Human Genome Project, disease associated genetic studies and, more recently, genomic and epigenetic projects involving the analysis of complex disease. His laboratory at Duke University has been carrying out genetic, epigenetic and genomic analysis, both independently and collaboratively. He has and continues to mentor high school students (3), undergraduate students (9), graduate candidates (7), graduate candidate thesis committee (4), graduate candidate primary mentor (3), Masters candidate (1), Post-doctoral fellows (3), and junior faculty (1) mentees.

Elizabeth HauserElizabeth Hauser, Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Duke University Medical Center and in the Division of Medical Genetics. Her research in genomic medicine centers on the development of statistical methods for genetic and genomic models, application of those methods to gene discovery in complex human traits, specifically complex conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and aging. For the past seven years, she directed the Duke Center for Human Genetics and has been involved in a number of long-standing genetic studies of cardiovascular disease and other complex traits. Her  team recently reorganized to form the DMPI, a group dedicated to integrated analysis of large ‘omics data sets and translational science.

Tim ReddyTim Reddy, Ph.D. (co-mentor) is Assistant Professor, Duke Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, and Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. Through his work as part of the ENCODE project, there are now millions of candidate regulatory elements known in the human genome. He and others have used those genomic approaches at the population level to reveal how genetic variants impact aspects of genome function and to provide direct insights into the underlying genetic mechanisms of disease. His lab is also actively engaged in developing and applying new tools to directly modify the genome and epigenome, with a particular focus on identifying and compensating for genetic mechanisms that lead to disease.

-Top of Page-


Pediatric Genomic Medicine

Greg CrawfordGreg Crawford, Ph.D. (co-mentor) is Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics. He specializes in mapping and characterizing active gene regulatory elements, and understanding how these elements contribute to global gene expression patterns. Dr. Crawford pioneered DNase-seq to identify all DNaseI HS sites across the genome, which identifies all types of active gene regulatory elements, including promoters, enhancers, silencers, insulators, locus control regions, active histone modifications, and most transcription factor binding sites.

Rasheed GbadegesinRasheed Gbadegesin, M.D. (co-mentor) is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Nephrology. The overarching objective of his research program is to understand the genetic basis, pathogenesis, and determinants of variable therapy response in nephrotic syndrome (NS) especially the FSGS variant. He is currently PI on multiple NIH/NIDDK sponsored studies that focus on the molecular pathogenesis of kidney diseases including nephrotic syndrome. In collaboration with colleagues around the World, his team has established a biorepository of rigorously characterized phenotype and biosamples from over 700 children with nephrotic syndrome. He has mentored over ten trainees ranging from high school students to post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty members and he was a recipient of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Research Mentorship award.

Priya KishnaniPriya Kishnani M.D. (primary mentor) is Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Chen Center for Pediatric Genetics and Genomics, and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Medical Genetics. She has mentored several junior faculty and fellows throughout the years. She has a broad background in translation of laboratory science into the clinical arena, especially in the area of therapeutic interventions such as enzyme replacement therapy and small molecules. Her research has focused on treatment strategies and long-term complications for multiple disorders including Down syndrome and rare genetic diseases, particularly Pompe disease, on which she also works on noninvasive biomarker development, investigating treatment strategies to suppress the immune response to therapeutic proteins, and enhancing targeted delivery of enzyme.

Mohamad MikatiMohamad Mikati, M.D. (co-mentor) is Professor of Pediatrics and Neurobiology, and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurology. He has focused his research career on developing a better understanding of and therapies for pediatric epilepsy and related disorders. This has centered on four areas: (1) understanding of mechanisms and neuroprotection against seizure and hypoxia related neuronal injury, (2) therapy for epilepsy, (3) characterization of severe pediatric neurological and epilepsy syndromes, and (4) alternating hemiplegia of childhood. One focus of his work and expertise in these areas focuses on the genetics of pediatric epilepsy, including the genetics of pediatric drug-resistant epilepsy.

Ann Reed Ann Reed M.D., Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Professor of Pediatrics and Chief of the Duke Children’s Center. She is a board-certified pediatric rheumatologist and a clinician-investigator with a funded research program focusing on basic and translational research in juvenile and adult dermatomyositis. Her research in genomic medicine focuses on the TH-17 pathway in myositis and of the biological changes in myositis-affected subjects treated with anti B-cell therapy. Trainees have consistently been a key component of her research program including pre-medical, medical and post graduate trainees.

-Top of Page-


Nursing Genomic Medicine

Leigh Ann SimmonsLeigh Ann Simmons, Ph.D., M.F.T. (primary mentor) is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Senior Research Fellow in the Duke Center for Research on Prospective Health Care. Her research has focused on reducing health disparities among vulnerable populations by implementing innovations in personalized health care, and examining policies to promote health and health care. Her projects include a national project on education services for patient-centered care in the Veterans Health Administration, and the Duke Personalized Medicine Implementation in Research and Clinical Practice, an ongoing landscape analysis of Duke faculty, students, trainees, and staff on the status of personalized medicine within the institution. She has mentored doctoral students in Nursing, Public Health, and Neuroscience and a medical resident in clinical research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

-Top of Page-


Engineering/Biomedical Engineering

Lawrence CarinLawrence Carin Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Professor of Engineering and Vice Provost for Research at Duke University. His research in genomic medicine is particularly focused on infectious disease, and the development of novel signal processing and statistical methods for analysis of time-evolving genomic biomarkers in research participants of several viral challenge studies. His work also involves developing models for disease prediction and phenotyping using electronic medical record data.  He has served as an advisor for more than 25 PhD students and 20 post-docs.

Charlie GersbachCharlie Gersbach, Ph.D. (co-mentor) is The Rooney Family Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Co-Director of the Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering. Dr. Gersbach’s laboratory is focused on applying molecular and cellular engineering to applications in gene therapy, regenerative medicine, and basic science. In particular, his research aims to develop new methods such as CRISPR to modify genome sequences and cellular gene networks in a precise and targeted manner. These methods are being applied to direct stem cell differentiation, tissue regeneration, correct genetic diseases, and answer fundamental biological questions regarding gene regulation and genome structure and function.

TTuan Vo-Dinhuan Vo-Dinh, Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Director of the Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics, Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Professor of Chemistry at Duke University. He has extensive experience in the areas of biotechnology and genomic medicine, specifically in the development of plasmonic nanoprobe technologies for biosensing and medical diagnostics for genomic applications. He has pioneered the SERS-based gene probe technology and has reported the selective detection of HIV DNA and the breast cancer gene BRCA1 using the SERS gene technology. Dr. Vo-Dinh has a proven record of successful research mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.

-Top of Page-


Biology and Genomic Medicine

Greg WrayGreg Wray, Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Director of the Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology. His background is in cellular and molecular biology, with particular expertise in genomics, population genetics, and evolutionary biology. His research focuses on the evolution of gene regulation, which he pursues using genomic, molecular, and computational methods. He has mentored 8 postdocs. Trainees with interests in gene regulation and its influence on disease risk will benefit from Dr. Wray’s expertise and mentoring.

-Top of Page-


Data Science, Computer Science, and Mathematics

David DunsonDavid Dunson, Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Professor of Statistical Science, Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has substantial experience in developing and applying statistical methods for genomic and other types of complex and high-dimensional biomedical data. He collaborates broadly with biomedical scientists at Duke, and has supervised numerous students and Postdoctoral Associates working on developing new statistical and computational methods for improving analyses of data from biomedical studies.

Sayan MukherjeeSayan Mukherjee, Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Associate Professor in the Departments of Statistical Science, Computer Science, and Mathematics. His research focuses on genetics and molecular applications of computational biology and statistical modeling. He is particularly interested in tumor progression and has published work in this field. In addition, he is very interested in both simple analyses regarding addition of stroma information data in more accurate prediction of outcomes. He has mentored or is currently mentoring several pre- and post-doctoral trainees.

Ricardo HenaoRicardo Henao, Ph.D. (co-mentor) is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research focuses on the development of new statistical models and machine learning algorithms that utilize known features of real data in order to better understand their underlying structure. Most of the applications of his work in genomic medicine have been on high dimensional biological datasets such as gene expression and proteomics. He also has worked with other datasets including microscope images, medical text records, and fMRIdata. Dr. Henao also focuses on the use of hierarchical Bayesian models to describe “big data” – high dimension, more variables than observations, noisy measurements, and systematic bias – in terms of low dimensional encodings that carry the information of interest.

Joseph LucasJoseph Lucas, Ph.D. (co-mentor) is Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and the Associate Director, Health System Operations, Duke University Medical Center. Much of his research into personalized medicine is aimed at the development of biosignatures for disease subtypes. He has utilized statistical methodologies designed to model the structure of high-dimensional data to develop biosignatures relevant to multiple different medical outcomes. These include molecular signatures that can distinguish different types of infection, measure radiation dose based on host response, track environmental exposures, and predict response to therapy in patients with hepatitis C. Dr Lucas’ work depends on highly collaborative relationships with other with clinical and laboratory researchers.

Michael PencinaMichael Pencina, Ph.D. (primary mentor) is Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics and the Director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute Biostatistics. His research focus in genomic medicine relates to quantifying medium and long-term risk of cardiovascular disease and its key risk factors. As a long-term Framingham investigator, he had led or co-led many key efforts to produce prognostic algorithms that can be used by clinicians and patients to quantify risk and select optimal treatment strategies. Dr. Pencina also pioneered the concept of 30-year risk in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in younger adults and built models to facilitate its applications.

Katherine HellerKatherine Heller, Ph.D. (co-mentor) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistical Science and at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience.  Her research interests lie in the fields of machine learning and Bayesian statistics. Specifically, she develops new methods and models to discover latent structure in data, including cluster structure, using Bayesian nonparametrics, hierarchical Bayes, techniques for Bayesian model comparison, and other Bayesian statistical methods.

Erich HuangErich Huang, M.D., Ph.D (co-mentor) is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics. His research focuses on solid-tumor gene-expression analysis and oncogenic pathway analysis.  As the inaugural faculty recruit to the School of Medicine’s new Division of Translational Bioinformatics, Dr. Huang brings his experiences as Director of Cancer Research at Sage Bionetworks, and leading machine learning and software engineering initiatives to establish clinically-relevant and performant predictive models and technologies for solving complex problems in systems medicine, including genomic medicine. He is the faculty lead for data integration/analytics on the Duke collaboration with Google and Stanford on the Baseline Study, which involves collection of family history and genomic biomarkers.

-Top of Page-