Recent Graduate Profiles
Charleen, currently a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, is a geneticist, epidemiologist, and computational biologist with training in linguistics, cancer research, and nucleolar biology. She studies everything from molecules to behavior, using transcriptomic Mendelian randomization, epigenetics, and machine learning. Her aims are to discover novel regulatory causes of diseases in human populations and to understand what makes us who we are and why we age. At the UW, her dissertation combined epigenetics and ethics. She explored DNA methylation in shift workers (with Dr. Parveen Bhatti) and the ethical landscape of working at night (with Dr. Wylie Burke).
- differential genome-wide DNA methylation in association with nightshift work
Jacklyn recently completed her MPH in Public Health Genetics. Her interests are prenatal testing and newborn screening and bioethics.
- Prenatal testing and newborn screening
William is an MSGE alum interested in the social and legal implications surrounding genomic diagnostics in the clinical setting.
- Social and legal implications surrounding genomic diagnostics
Shira is an MPH genetics alum interested in the genetic, nutritional, environmental, and behavioral factors that influence disease risk and prevention. She received her B.S. in Biology and Global Health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014. Since then, she has worked at the University of Minnesota as a research assistant in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, at two non-profit health organizations in Minneapolis coordinating health advocacy and education initiatives, and at the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Chicago.
- Genetic epidemiology
- Epigenetics & nutrigenomics
- Developmental origins of health and disease
- Ethical Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of genetics
Taryn Hall’s research interests are focused on precision phenotyping, gene identification, risk and phenotype prediction, and the translation of genetic discoveries to society. She has several domains of interest including: chronic pain, medically unexplained conditions, disorders in pregnancy, precision medicine, and forensic genetics.
- precision phenotyping, gene identification, risk and phenotype prediction
- chronic pain, medically unexplained conditions, disorders in pregnancy, precision medicine, and forensic genetics
- translation of genetic discoveries to society
PhD Public Health Genetics
M. Ragan Hart, holds an MS in Genetic Epidemiology and a PhD in Public Health Genetics from IPHG at UW, where she investigated gene-environment interactions in patients using warfarin.Currently working in Medical Genetics, she recognizes a myriad of factors exist in the implementation of clinical sequencing into healthcare, and thus, her research interests lie at the intersection of health economics, clinical validation, and health policy.
- The intersection of health economics, clinical validation, and health policy
Fa recently completed her MPH in Public Health Genetics. Her interests are forensic genetics, newborn screening, and pediatric genetics.
- Forensic genetics
- Newborn screening
- Pediatric genetics.
As part of her PhD studies, Yunqi was a research assistant working with Dr. Jairam Lingappa and Dr. Romel Mackelprang from the International Clinical Research Center at Department of Global Health. Their research focuses on using transcriptome analysis to identify intrinsic factors involved in HIV-1 acquisition and infection pathogenesis.
- Applying genomic data analysis in biomedical/public health studies
Prior to joining the UW community, Thyvu worked as a clinical laboratory scientist diagnosing genetic disorders. Drawing upon her clinical background and public health interests, she is pursuing an MPH in PHG with the goal of expanding her role in health promotion beyond the laboratory setting to more direct community interventions.
- Health promotion beyond the laboratory setting
Caitlin Maloney received her MPH in Public Health Genetics from the University of Washington and BS in Biology from Baylor University. Prior to joining the IPHG, she worked as a clinical scientist in a molecular diagnostics laboratory. While at the Institute, Caitlin investigated ethical considerations and epidemiological data regarding children with trisomy 13 and 18 requiring cardiac surgery and respiratory support. Her thesis highlighted “the politics of probability” and how values and roles shape the understanding of data in pediatric decision-making, especially for children with disabilities. Caitlin’s research and training are grounded in ethical, legal, and social implications of genetics. She has a particular interest in how genomic technologies intersect with the criminal legal system and health and disability law.
- intersection of genomic technologies with the criminal legal system
- health and disability law
PhD Public Health Genetics
Sarah Catherine Nelson is an alum of the Public Health Genetics MPH and PhD programs and works as a Research Scientist in the Department of Biostatistics’ Genetic Analysis Center. Her dissertation examines how customers of direct-to-consumer genetic testing are using their uninterpreted genetic data. Sarah writes about her dissertation work and related topics on her blog at myopenreadingframe.com.
- Direct-to-consumer testing
- Raw data access
- Third-party interpretation
- Science, Technology, and society studies
Elizabeth Oestreich, MPH alum, is interested in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) around genetics. She completed her BS in Biology at UW in 2016. She is currently serving as a student representative for the department, a GPSS senator, a member of the Deans Advisory Committee for Students (DACS), and a member of the Services and Activity Fee (SAF) committee. In her free time she is a mother of 2 and a wife.
- Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) around genetics
Alice B. Popejoy, PhD in Public Health Genetics, has a B.A. from Hamilton College in Biology and French and earned a Certificate in Statistical Genetics from the departments of Statistics and Biostatistics at the University of Washington. Her research in Public Health Genetics is interdisciplinary across computational biology and bioinformatics, protein family evolution, statistical genetics, and bioethics. She is graduating in Autumn 2017 and will begin a postdoctoral scholar position with Dr. Carlos Bustamante in the Department of Biomedical Data Science at Stanford University.
- Comparative evolutionary genomics
- Photoreceptor gene families (opsins)
- Race, ancestry, and genomics
- Ethical, legal, social implications (ELSI) of genetics research
Broad interest in ELSI, qualitative research, and Science and Technology Studies. Research interest in attitudes and perceptions of genetics among providers and the general population. Research experience is in the perception of the relationship between race and genetics in online communities.
Scott recognizes the many different factors are required for adaption and utilization of clinical sequencing and other emerging biotechnologies in healthcare settings. His research interests are focused on the intersection of health economics, precision and personalized medicine, public policy and bioethics.
- The intersection of health economics, public policy, and bioethics
Aditya completed the Genetic Epidemiology M.S. program at the University of Washington and graduated with a B.S. in Genetics and Genomics from the University of California, Davis in 2020.
In his time at UW, he applied and furthered his knowledge in genetics and genomics in both computational approaches and epidemiological contexts. As a member of Dr. Gavin Ha's Lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, he conducted gene expression analysis of circulating tumor DNA from pediatric neuroblastoma in collaboration with Dr. Brian Compton from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Additionally, he conducted his thesis with the guidance of Dr. Kathleen Kerr and Dr. Bruce Weir. He investigated genetic risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility in multiethnic populations.
Aditya will be continuing his education at the University of Pittsburgh as a Human Genetics PhD student. He is conducting research with Dr. HJ Park's lab, which helps develop data-science techniques, AI-driven tools, and statistical inference methods to elucidate large-scale molecular biological dynamics hidden across multiple regulatory layers for complex diseases, such as cancer and sepsis.
McKenna Tennant, MPH in Public Health Genetics, is interested in policy issues in genomics. Her particular interests include the regulation of genetic tests; coverage and reimbursement of clinical sequencing; and the ethical, legal, and social implications of genetic research and technologies, specifically with regard to accessibility and health disparities. McKenna holds a BA in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health from Yale University, where she studied the history of genetic engineering and government regulation of transgenic animals.
- Policy issues in genomics Ethical, legal, and social implications
Kate West's dissertation draws from a virtue and feminist ethics framework in a mixed methods study of trustworthy research practices within partnerships between communities and university-based researchers, including specific considerations for genomics. For more information about her work, please visit
- Trustworthy research practices within partnerships between communities and university-based researchers