Blog 3 min

Employee Spotlight: Dr. Renee Sears, Clinical Genomics Specialist

July 29th, 2021

Our Employee Spotlight shines a light on the uniqueness of the PierianDx team. Our commitment to precision medicine and ensuring the success of our customers is the common theme amongst our team. But beyond that,  we’re as diverse and unique as they come. If you would like to join our team, click here to view our open positions.

Renee Sears profile

What is your educational background?
I studied Biological Sciences with a concentration in Genetics at Cornell University. The classes that influenced me the most were Introduction Population Genetics, and Evolutionary Biology. Subsequently, I worked as a research associate at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles, in projects focused on exome sequencing in psychiatric disease, genotype risk scoring in neurodegenerative disease, and discovery of disease-associated genes.  I completed my PhD at Washington University in St. Louis where I performed transcriptional and epigenetic profiling of neural cell types using both computational analysis and wet-bench components.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis at PierianDx?
At PierianDx, I work as a Clinical Genomics Specialist. I plan, troubleshoot, and analyze the data from NGS analytical and clinical validations, along with writing the final validation report. I’m also part of the scientific support team where I handle scientific inquiries from customers. Training our clients on various aspects of the Clinical Genomics Workspace is also something I do from time to time.

What’s your favorite thing about working with PierianDx customers?

I really love interacting with our clients either through direct meetings or through scientific support queries. Client queries where I get to look into something new, troubleshoot, problem solve, educate, or train someone are really rewarding. If you ever interact with me through scientific support and get a super detailed response that’s because I’m just as interested in what’s going on with your NGS test as you are.

Outside work, how do you like to spend your free time?

You’ll see me around the neighborhood walking my dog, Maximus. And yes, I do have a Gladiator Halloween costume (and also a yellow raincoat) for him. I have great appreciation for nature, so at the nearby rookery, I’m the one standing looking at a heron, taking pictures with a turtle, or chasing after frogs/toads. I’ve also recently discovered fossil hunting. I wish I could say that I was one of those people who read all the time; I do read a lot, but binge watching Netflix took over during the pandemic. Baking is something I enjoy; I make an awesome blueberry crumb cake. Lastly, if there’s a craft (minus sewing) I’ve done it, and done it well.

What is one fact about you that nobody would know?

I used to collect rubber ducks. I had a ton of them, but when I moved to St. Louis and left them in California most of them eventually melted when my mother left them in the garage.

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