Richard K. Wilson, PhD
Elaine R. Mardis, PhD
Julie M. Gastier-Foster, PhD, FACMG
Peter White, PhD
Elena Chiappinelli, MSH, MHA
Clinical Laboratory Directors
Ashley Kubatko, MS, PMP
Yvonne Moyer, MBA, SH(ASCP)
Laura Starkey, MBA, MT(ASCP)SBB
Amy Wetzel, PhD
Matthew R. Avenarius, PhD
Elizabeth S. Barrie, PhD
Stephanie LaHaye, PhD
Cecelia R. Miller, PhD
Katherine Miller, PhD
Kathleen Schieffer, PhD
Meet the Senior Leadership of the IGM
Dr. Wilson and Dr. Mardis joined Nationwide Children's Hospital as executive director and co-executive director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine in October 2016.
Collectively, they have played key roles in notable federally funded genomics research initiatives, including the Human Genome Project, The Cancer Genome Atlas, the Human Microbiome Project, the Genome Reference Consortium, and the 1,000 Genomes Project.
Richard Wilson, PhD
Dr. Wilson is an internationally recognized expert in molecular genetics and large-scale genomics, and his laboratories have been among the world’s leaders in genome analysis. His teams have sequenced and analyzed billions of bases of DNA from the genomes of bacteria, yeast, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, primates and humans. Dr. Wilson and his colleagues at Washington University sequenced the first animal genome – that of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans (1990-98) – and contributed substantially to the sequencing and analysis of the human genome (1988-2003). He has published over 400 peer-reviewed manuscripts. In 2013, he was named the world's most cited researcher by Thomson Reuters' ScienceWatch with 15 significantly cited papers. Among numerous honors, awards and notable positions, he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and has received Distinguished Alumni awards from Miami University and the University of Oklahoma.
Elaine Mardis, PhD
Dr. Mardis is an internationally recognized expert in cancer genomics who received the 2016 Morton K. Schwartz award from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. She also was included on the 2013 Thomson Reuters' list of most cited researchers, one of only two women listed. Among her several prominent roles, Dr. Mardis is a member of the Board of Directors for the American Association for Cancer Research and a member of the Supervisory Board of Qiagen N.V. She is editor-in-chief of Molecular Case Studies and an associate editor of Molecular Cancer Research, Disease Models and Mechanisms and Annals of Oncology. In 2013 she was featured in Discover magazine's "The Year in Science." In 2017 she was awarded the Luminary Award from the Precision Medicine World Conference.
Previously Drs. Wilson and Mardis led the McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University, which was one of only three genome centers funded by the NIH following completion of the Human Genome Project. In 2008, their team became the first to use new DNA sequencing technology to compare the tumor DNA of a cancer patient with that same patient's normal tissue DNA, demonstrating that whole genome sequencing (WGS) could identify the mutations driving cancer growth. This foundational work resulted in an international effort to decode cancer genomes and unlock their secrets to improve treatments and outcomes.
Their foundational contributions to discovery research in pediatric genomics have been significant. Drs. Wilson and Mardis co-led the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, which sequenced the genomes of more than 750 children with some of the most devastating cancers.
Peter White, PhD
Peter White, PhD is a principal investigator in The Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University. He is Senior Director of the Computational Genomics Group, leading a team of bioinformaticians, computer scientists and developers that support the translational bioinformatics, data management, clinical informatics and cloud computing needs of the Institute. His team is developing disruptive technologies to rapidly analyze and interpret genomic data produced by the Institute and collaborators. Dr. White has established multiple genomics initiatives as part of Nationwide Children's strategic goal to develop a cutting edge genomic medicine program.
Dr. White’s research program at Nationwide Children's Hospital focuses on developing high performance computing solutions for "big data", utilizing disruptive technologies to rapidly analyze and interpret genomic data sets. Through genomic analysis of individuals, families and populations, his team is discovering genetic variation associated with diseases such as congenital heart defects, autism spectrum disorders and rare genetic diseases. As developer and inventor of the balanced parallelization strategy for human genome analysis (named “Churchill”), Dr. White is a co-founder and Chief Scientific Advisor of GenomeNext LLC.
Dr. White received his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Cambridge, England and completed his postdoctoral training in the Department of Genetics at The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of genomics and computational biology, is the recipient of multiple awards from the National Institutes of Health and has authored over 60 peer reviewed publications.
Julie Gastier-Foster, PhD, FACMG
Dr. Julie Gastier-Foster is the Senior Director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine Clinical Laboratory and Vice Chair of Laboratory Genetics in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She is a professor (clinical) in the departments of Pathology and Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.. Dr. Gastier-Foster received her PhD in Genetics from Harvard Medical School, and completed her medical genetics training at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is board-certified in Clinical Cytogenetics and Clinical Molecular Genetics and has nearly 20 years’ experience overseeing CAP/CLIA-certified clinical genetics laboratories.
Dr. Gastier-Foster also has significant translational research funding to support the integration of genetic/genomic testing into clinical trials and promote biobanking and tumor processing for new research discoveries. She is responsible for the Children's Oncology Group (COG) Molecular Reference Laboratories and the COG and SWOG Leukemia Banks. She serves as the Principal Investigator for the COG reference laboratories, providing real time clinical testing for risk-based stratification of COG patients and also works with tumor committees to incorporate new clinical biomarkers. Dr. Gastier-Foster has utilized her biorepository and tumor processing expertise as the Principal Investigator of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center for Cancer Genomics Biospecimen Core Resource (BCR) since 2009. The BCR is responsible for tumor pathology review and processing for large scale genomics projects such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and subsequent projects.