1. What is your name?
2. What is your professional title?
Senior Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Molecular Pathology
3. How did you decide to enter the field/What (or who) brought you into the field?
As an undergraduate, I had the pleasure to assist Dr. Thomas Hermann at UCSD, in determining the nucleic structure of a Hepatitis C fragment by x-ray diffraction. It involved identifying conditions that favors crystallization. Unwittingly, the approaches employed in crystallization trial were analogous to assay development in clinical laboratory settings. He was an awesome mentor who encouraged well-thought out experiments without filling in the blanks for you.
4. What do you do? How would you describe your role?
I spend about ten percent of my time on development, optimization, and validation of molecular assays. The remainder of my time is used to address the details associated with clinically validated assays: aiding medical directors by providing scientific literatures to support or compilation of clinical data to establish clinical utility, building bioinformatics toolkits to visualize and aggregate clinical data, maintaining assays performance level, and testing production samples. I am on a life-long mission to balance that time-spent ratio.
5. How does your work help patients?
My work helps patients by providing accurate results with a reasonable turnaround time and to enhance sensitivity of testing without causing a financial burden.
6. What degree(s) and/or training did you receive to achieve your position?
I received my bachelor of science in human biology from University of California, San Diego. I did my medical technologist training at Stanford Healthcare/San Jose State University, and was certified as medical laboratory scientist and technologist in molecular biology by ASCP.
7. What is the greatest challenge you face in your work?
The pursuit of scientific knowledge is an arduous process. It has been challenging to maintain a sense of optimism during this journey.
8. What is the best part of your work as you see it? (most interesting, fun…)
I am grateful to work with a group of people who are brilliant, dedicated, and share the common goal of delivering quality patient care. There would be no tests without their contributions and expertise. It has been fun to tackle problem after problem, day after day with them.
9. What AMP resources/courses have helped you advance your career?
I have found the annual AMP meetings and Journal of Molecular Diagnostics valuable and educational. It is a great platform to disseminate ideas, and more than often, reaffirm one’s thoughts. Guidelines, validation resources, and AMP workshops have been critical for expanding my knowledge and advancing my career.
10. In your opinion, what are the most valuable aspects of AMP membership?
The most valuable aspects of AMP membership is to be connected to a scientific community that strives to improve patient care with evidence based science and medicine.