1. What is your name?
2. What is your professional title?
Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology at University of Nebraska Medical Center.
3. How did you decide to enter the field/What (or who) brought you into the field?
When I was pursuing my master’s degree in mathematics, I took an information and coding theory course that widely applied in molecular biology. It was very interesting to realize that the methods and concepts derived from information theory - usually addressing the analysis of communication systems - can also be used to compare and analyse biological sequences. That course was the first time I was introduced to sequencing analysis. Later, I had a project that dealt with transformed follicular lymphoma and involved Next Generation Sequencing for mutation detection. That is when I started my journey in bioinformatics.
4. What do you do? How would you describe your role?
I provide bioinformatics support for the molecular lab at the hospital and the forensic lab at the university including panel and bioinformatics pipeline design, validation, data analysis, and existing workflow improvement. I am also actively involved in lymphoma research and have contributed many peer-reviewed papers.
5. How does your work help patients?
The testing we designed is applied to clinical samples on daily basis. We provide accurate results and help clinicians understand the disease so the patients can have the appropriate treatments.
6. What degree(s) and/or training did you receive to achieve your position?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Technology, a master’s degree in Measuring and Testing Techniques and Instruments, a second master’s degree in Mathematics, and a doctoral degree in Bioinformatics.
7. What is the greatest challenge you face in your work?
Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary science. How to communicate efficiently among professionals from different background is my big challenge.
8. What is the best part of your work as you see it? (most interesting, fun…)
The non-stop learning and problem solving process. In addition, it keeps me update to the latest technologies.
9. What AMP resources/courses have helped you advance your career?
Molecular-in-my-pocket cards are extremely informative. They help familiarize me with the material efficiently.
10. In your opinion, what are the most valuable aspects of AMP membership?
The access to the up-to-date information and active interaction with the community.