Kelly Rafferty (at podium) presented her research on trisomy 21 associated increases in age-related chromosomal instability and telomere shortening at the 2015 American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. She used a novel system using cells derived from individuals with mosaic Down syndrome where she could study trisomic and disomic cells from the same individual. The session entitled, “The Every-Changing Chromosome” was moderated by an alumna, Natalia Leach (Ph.D., 2001) (far left) and Dr. Athena Cherry of Stanford University. Kelly works in the laboratory of Dr. Colleen Jackson-Cook. Photo by Christine Stanley

Emily Edelman (M.S.G.C, 2006) won the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC). The winner of this award is deemed to “have made significant contributions to NSGC”. Besides serving on five task forces for the NSGC, Emily has chaired the personalized medicine special interest group and led the special projects committee but her most important contribution is working with the Education Committee which organizes the society’s annual education conference. Emily works in the Genomic Education Department at the Jackson Laboratory where she develops educational content for diverse health care professionals and she brings that expertise to the NSGC. Emily received the award at their National Conference in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania on October 22, 2015. Photo from NSGC Alert, September 25, 2015.

Bridget Quinn’s dissertation research was highlighted in the Fall 2015 edition of 12th & Marshall, a MCV campus alumni magazine. She showed that combining the drug Sabutoclax and the antibiotic Minocycline had a potent synergistic effect on disrupting tumor growth of pancreatic cancer in several mouse models. In the article, Bridget is shown discussing her results with her mentor, Dr. Paul Fisher. Bridget defended her dissertation in the Fall of 2014 and as a M.D./Ph.D. student is currently finishing up her clinical rotations. Photo by Anting Hsiung.

To celebrate the end of the fall semester, the laboratories on the 11th floor of Sanger in the Departments of Human and Molecular Genetics and OB/GYN held a potluck before winter break. Dr. Mike Grotewiel even donned reindeer antlers to get everyone in the spirit of the season. Front row: Bhavi Modi, Dr. Eun Lee, Dr. Mike Grotewiel, Danielle Siebert, Ian Hines, Jena Butler. Back row: Dr. Zhibing Zhang, Dr. Rita Shiang, Dr. James Lister. Photo courtesy of Dr. Eun Lee.

Students Maren Smith, Jessica Felthousen and Kelly Rafferty ran a station at the annual Women in Science Girl Scout Science Day. The event is to expose young girls to science and careers in the biomedical sciences and health fields by having hands-on activities for the scouts. At the genetics station the scouts were able to extract DNA from strawberries. This was the second year that these same students hosted the DNA station.

Drs. John Quillin and Rita Shiang collaborated in answering questions about Precision Medicine at a Science Pub RVA event, a program of The Community Idea Station’s Science Matters Initiative. These initiatives are to present a variety of scientific topics to the general public in bars around town. The question that stymied both of them is if they had their genome sequenced or interrogated? The answer was no for both. Photo by Brenna Monk.