Current Master of Science candidate at Tarleton State University with a focus on molecular diagnostics. My education is in molecular pathology and molecular laboratory techniques with the goal of becoming a certified in Molecular Biology (MB) through the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). My master's thesis research project aims to elucidate the origin of the novel mesenchymal osteoproginator cells leading to the normal development of bone in the scales of the American alligator. I hope that the results from this study can be applied to the human disease Heterotopic Ossification (HO) and highlight the American alligator as a promising new animal model that can be utilized to further the understanding of HO development.
I am a research scientist with over 12 years of basic biological science research experience, as well as one year of molecular diagnostic testing experience. In my current position as General Supervisor of the molecular lab at AmeriHealth, I provide day-to-day supervision of lab personnel and assist them in performing high complexity testing for cancer predisposition, monitor post-run analysis and perform any corrective measures necessary, aid in troubleshooting technical issues, correspond with outside entities in relation to test results and methodologies, as well as assist in developing and maintaining lab procedures. In addition to my supervisory experience, I have also been involved in the development and performance of molecular diagnostic testing in the field of microbiology and infectious disease.
My research focus during my PhD and postdoctoral careers was on understanding the molecular mechanisms of various cancer types, as well as developing more effective drug delivery systems for chemo/neurotherapeutics. During those periods, I published in the Journal of Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology, as well as the Journal of Carcinogenesis.
In addition to my roles in basic science and the clinical lab, I have previous involvement in the training of future budding scientists during my time as an instructor at Tarleton State University and the University of Texas at San Antonio, where I taught general biology, animal biology, and microbiology courses from 2006-2011.
I am an ASCP-certified Medical Laboratory Scientist with over 12 years of diagnostic testing experience in the Molecular lab. I am skilled in supervising, and operating CLIA-approved laboratories. In my current position as Senior Assay Development Scientist at Progenity, I design, develop,and validate various diagnostic assays for detection of cancers, chronic inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders, and infectious diseases. I have been helping several DFW companies in development and validation of assays in microbiology, molecular microbiology, pharmacogenetics and cancer since 2017.
My research focus during my PhD and postdoctoral careers was on HIV-1 infection of the central nervous system, transcriptional reprogramming of HIV-infected CD4 T cells, and discovery of novel small molecule re-activators of HIV-1 latency. I have published in the Progress in Neurobiology Journal, the Journal of Neurovirology, and the journal of Neuroinflammation.
As an experienced technical supervisor of molecular clinical laboratory, I have expertise in directing and overseeing daily operations, development of molecular diagnostic assays for pathogen identification, and validation of different testing platforms. Aside from my duties in the clinical lab, I am dedicated to training the new generations of medical laboratory scientists at Tarleton State University’s Medical Laboratory Science program where I have been teaching medical genetics, immunology, microbiology, parasitology, and molecular microbiology courses since 2016.