Wagner Lab

The Wagner Lab works to improve the actionability and throughput of clinical variant interpretation. The team researches and develops methods, tools and standards for the exchange and application of biomedical evidence informing genomic variant interpretation.

Genomic medicine, the process of translating observed changes in patient DNA into actionable clinical findings, requires many hours of effort from variant scientists and clinical lab directors in the evaluation of each case. The majority of this time is spent on aggregating evidence relevant to observed variants and applying that evidence in the context of other medical observations about a patient. Methods are needed to streamline this process by collecting, identifying, and prioritizing the most relevant evidence given the clinical context for a patient.

To achieve these aims, the Wagner Lab coordinates with the interdisciplinary clinical and scientific expertise at the Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to target key areas for growth and application of the Institute’s clinical evidence databases. The lab team also collaborates with multiple international genomic knowledge sharing consortia to develop these methods, standards and tools. These consortia include the Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen), the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) and the Variant Interpretation for Cancer Consortium (VICC). Their collaboration with these groups helps them build and standardize impactful data sharing capabilities, multiplying the benefit of their applied research at the Institute for Genomic Medicine.

Meet Our Team

Alex Wagner

Alex Wagner, PhD
Principal Investigator

Dr. Wagner is a principal investigator in the Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital where he leads the development of tools and standards for advancing precision medicine and our knowledge of genomic alterations in cancers. Dr. Wagner applies his research to drive rapid analysis of patient genomes, translating genetic alterations in children with cancers and other rare genetic disorders into clinical action. He is also a strong advocate for open science resources and initiatives.

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Matthew Cannon
Postdoctoral Scientist

Matthew earned an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and a doctorate degree in Biomedical Sciences from The Ohio State University. He contributed to bioinformatics and experimental therapeutics-based research to screen FDA-approved drugs for new indications for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and sickle cell disease (SCD). Matthew joined Dr. Alex Wagner’s lab as a postdoctoral scientist to continue his training and currently leads research and development for the next version of the Drug-Gene Interaction Database (DGIdb).

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Kori Kuzma
Bioinformatics Software Developer I

Kori graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering. At the Institute for Genomic Medicine, she develops and deploys web applications for the analysis and interpretation of genomic variants.

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Colin O'Sullivan
UX Developer

Colin O'Sullivan joined the Wagner lab as a front-end developer and UX designer. He studied Economics at The Ohio State University and was drawn to web development for its blend of technical and creative challenges. Colin focuses on creating modern, intuitive interfaces that make the user's life simpler to advance the field of genomics.

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James Stevenson
Bioinformatics Software Developer

James provides engineering and development for the Wagner Lab’s software projects, including the MetaKB. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Puget Sound and is completing a master’s degree in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research interests include applications of machine learning techniques in clinical medicine.