As a researcher in the newer field of genomic medicine, I am deeply committed to advancing our understanding of innovative genetic and genomic counseling service delivery models. In 2010, following establishment of an OSU research partnership with the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative, I was asked to lead the design and implementation of a longitudinal study to investigate the impact of in-person genomic counseling in the return of actionable genomic information for complex disease and pharmacogenomics. Specifically, OSU patients with chronic disease managed in an academic medical center receive genomic results through a web portal, and are randomized to additional in-person post-test genomic counseling versus only the web-based return of results. Through the years, this partnership has evolved into a coordinated effort that takes advantage of the diversity and strengths of each institution. Significant infrastructure was developed that allows confidential sharing of data between institutions, including direct release of study results for uploading to the OSU EHR, extraction of clinical data from the EHR and transfer of the genomic datasets for research purposes. Study findings led to an NIH/NHGRI R21 award, for which I’m the principal investigator on a qualitative research study to assess and develop new genomic counseling service delivery models. In this regard, in the last year we have performed qualitative interviews of OSU-Coriell study participants, and incorporated genomic counseling experts from four academic institutions (University of Michigan; Stanford University; UNC-Chapel Hill; University of Pennsylvania) into the process. I will have a number of first-author publications from this work. This ongoing collaborative and multi-institutional effort will also allow for submission for RO1 level funding. Lastly, this work also ties into development of the clinical pharmacogenomics program at Ohio State, and has allowed for my involvement as co-investigator (10% FTE) on the funded Translational Pharmacogenomics Program as part of the NIH/NIGMS Pharmacogenomics Regional Network.
These research accomplishments have resulted in accolades such as invited speaking engagements at international, national and local levels, nominations on four separate committees of the National Society of Genetic Counselors – Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship (JEMF), Practice Guidelines Committee, Efficient Delivery of Genetic Services Task Force and the Personalized Medicine Special Interest Group – and reviewer on numerous outstanding journals. Having now trained and performed research in multiple divergent areas of genetic and genomics, I have gained a unique perspective that is allowing me to forge a novel upward trajectory towards innovative, collaborative and ultimately translational health-related science.
As my teaching has been evaluated by fixed-response surveys with opportunity for open comments, I consistently use this feedback to alter my teaching methodology. I have reflected on and responded to student feedback and have remained motivated to improve the teaching-learning environment through varied instructional approaches. For example, for a new 2015 graduate level course, Pharmacogenomics 5700, I had the opportunity to use online instruction to a larger degree. As effective teaching also involves assessment of student potential for future pursuits in the form of recommendation letters, I’ve had ample opportunity to advise Ohio State undergraduate and graduate students, with most performing a one to two year internship. These students are evaluated in terms of their academic, clinical and research capabilities, as well as their general character. I have written letters of recommendation for 12 undergraduate and graduate students pursuing advanced degrees, and all have successfully advanced to the next level. As chair of JEMF, the primary grant funding agency for the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), I was involved with the development of the "JEMF Graduate Student Award," which supports ongoing work for graduate thesis projects of genetic counseling students in training. Applicants submit a formal research proposal, which is reviewed and ranked by the JEMF Advisory Committee. During my tenure as chair, we provided awards to 36 graduate students, of which 32 subsequently published thesis work. I was active advisor and mentor for a number of these students. I am also faculty adviser for graduate students in The Ohio State University Genetic Counselor Graduate Training Program and currently a mentor of two graduate students. I provide classroom and clinical instruction for the training program. Lastly, in recent years, I authored two peer-reviewed books on genomic medicine – one for medical professionals, "The Busy Physician's Guide to Genetics, Genomics and Personalized Health Care" and the second for the lay public, "Your Genes, Your Health and Personalized Medicine." Each are used in graduate and professional education.
My accomplishments in service include both university and professional and national service. I provide service to The Ohio State University Division of Human Genetics as a licensed and certified genetic counselor. I serve as graduate student adviser and faculty member for The Ohio StateUniversity Genetic Counselor Graduate Training Program. I'm an active member of Ohio State's Personalized Genomic Medicine Working Group, the OSU Translational Pharmacogenomics Project and the OSU Bioinformatics Research Group. I served a two-year term on the OSU Cancer Institutional Review Board and multiple years on the OSU Clinical Implementation Working Group, the OSU Personalized Health Assessment Working Group, the OSU E-Tablet Initiative and the OSU Personalized Healthcare Virtual Genomics Working Group.
At the professional and national level, through invited presentations locally, nationally and internationally, I strive to bring recognition to the tremendous merits of The Ohio State University. I was a founding member and chair of the NSGC Personalized Medicine-Special Interest Group, a core driver for genomics education and development of applications and tools to support our profession. I was an invited abstract reviewer and Program Moderator for the 2014 American Society of Human Genetics conference. I'm currently involved (3-year service commitment) as elected advisor to the NSGC Practice Guidelines Committee and, more recently was asked to join a new NSGC Efficient Delivery of Genetic Services task force. I will continue such service accepting more opportunities as presented as my research continues to attract prominence in multiple disciplines, whilst forging lucrative contacts with colleagues across the world.