After studying computer science at Lehman College, and biochemistry and molecular biology at SUNY Binghamton and UNC Chapel Hill, I discovered a field that brought together all three disciplines: bioinformatics. I started in the target bioinformatics group at what was then Glaxo-Wellcome, designing and teaching a long-running bioinformatics training program.
Next, Durham-based bioinformatics startup Incellico was a too-good-to-resist opportunity to design their flagship product: CELL, which may have been the first commercially available ontology- and graph-based life science knowledge base (KB). Incellico was bought by Cambridge-based Genstruct (later Selventa), and I stayed on to continue to develop the ontology and design tools to work with the KB as well as large-scale integration of public data. I also worked as a part of data analysis teams, integrating and curating knowledge from the literature, working to discover biological explanations for client multi-omics data. I worked with people at Genstruct that I continue to work with to this day.
Eventually, I tired of commuting every other week from Chapel Hill, NC to Boston, and I joined the bioinformatics group at Research Triangle Institute (RTI) to work on projects across biostatistics and bioinformatics, including metagenomics, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and public health projects like the CDC’s Biosense 2 biosurveillance platform. I also worked as a data and systems architect on projects such as the LungMap project for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. My work at RTI led to 20 publications (and counting), and dozens of conference presentations or proceedings. To this day, I continue to work with people I met at RTI.
After nearly a decade, I set off to start my own consulting business. Joining forces with other former colleagues, we won a major contract working with a government agency on a data linkage project. In addition to working directly with state and territorial public health professionals, I also found work with commercial clients ranging in size from startups to large CROs. I enjoy the independence of working for myself on a diversity of clients and projects—from human clinical data and biostatistics to cloud infrastructure and more.
As I take on new projects and clients, I’m always learning and incorporating the latest skills and techniques. I’m often referred to by clients as someone “who does a lot,” and as a reliable problem solver on time-sensitive and difficult projects. I see the future as a raft of new experiences, working with clients old and new, applying my diverse experience plus new technology to help clients achieve their goals in a timely and high-quality manner.