Clinical Directors

Elizabeth Chao, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Chao graduated with honors from UCLA with a B.S. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and received her M.D. from the University of California, Irvine. She completed her training in Clinical Molecular Genetics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and previously served as Associate Director of the Genetic Diagnostic Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. As a Howard Hughes Scholar at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), Dr. Chao specialized in genomic technologies such as the development of array-CGH, and applications to cancer genetics. Currently, Dr. Chao is also on faculty at UC Irvine where her research focuses on novel methods for interpreting DNA variants in genomic data sets.

Sharon Mexal, Ph.D.

Director of Clinical Operations

Dr. Mexal graduated with honors from the University of New Mexico with a B.S. in Biology and with a Ph.D. from the Human Medical Genetics Program at the University of Colorado Medical Campus. Dr. Mexal completed her post-doctoral research at the University of Colorado at Boulder Institute for Behavioral Genetics.  Prior to joining Ambry in 2009, she worked as a senior scientist at Cenomed Biosciences, a start-up pharmaceutical company, where she screened novel compounds for anti-psychotic and anti-emetic drug activity. Dr. Mexal has been active in medical genetics research for over a decade and has published numerous articles on the genetics of schizophrenia and tobacco addiction. 

Sha Tang, Ph.D.

Assistant Director of Clinical Genomics

Dr. Tang graduated from Wuhan University with a B.S. in Biochemistry and received her M.S. in Molecular Genetics from Chinese Academy of Sciences. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics studying mitochondrial genomics in nematodes from University of California, Riverside. Dr. Tang then worked at University of California, Irvine as a postdoctoral scholar sponsored by a two-year Research Fellowship with a focus on elucidating molecular etiology for a number of genetic disorders, including cystinosis and optic atrophy. Dr. Tang completed her training in Clinical Molecular Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine prior to joining Ambry where she currently specializes in molecular genetics and diagnosis of mitochondrial disorders.

Chai-Ling Gau, Ph.D.

Laboratory Director

Dr. Gau is certified in clinical molecular genetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics. She graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Molecular Cell Biology and obtained her Ph.D. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She remained at UCLA for her post-doctoral fellowship studying potential gene therapy vectors for treating arginase deficiency. Dr. Gau completed her training in clinical molecular genetics from Cedars Sinai / UCLA Medical Center prior to joining Ambry.     

Tim Vo, Ph.D.

Laboratory Director

Dr. Vo graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Wayne State University. After completing his post-doctoral in the same department, where his work included identifying and characterizing several novel CNS-specific genes located in the 4p16.3 sub-band, Dr. Vo was a clinical fellow in the Detroit Medical Center’s Molecular Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory. While there, he gained experience starting a CLIA-certified molecular laboratory. Dr. Vo was ABMG board certified in 1999 and became the lab’s technical director. He subsequently took a position as a clinical molecular lab director at what was then USLabs prior to joining Ambry in 2004. Dr. Vo is a Clinical Genetic Molecular Biologist in the state of California and currently holds a COQ in New York state.

Brigette Tippin Davis, Ph.D.

Technical Laboratory Director

Dr. Tippin received a B.S. in biological sciences and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California where she received an NIH-NIA fellowship to research defects in DNA replication and repair mechanisms leading to human disease. She completed her post-doctoral training as an NIH Fellow in Clinical Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) / Cedars Sinai Medical Center and is certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics. Prior to joining Ambry, Dr. Tippin was on the faculty at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in the Division of Medical Genetics where her research focused on the development of novel molecular therapeutics for rare-genetic disorders, including lysosomal storage diseases and inherited forms of colon cancer.

Ruth Baxter, PhD

Assistant Laboratory Director

Dr. Baxter received a first-class honors degree in Physiological Sciences from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and a Ph.D. from the Dept. of Biochemistry at the University of Dundee, both in the UK. Following postdoctoral studies at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Dr. Baxter joined Biogen Idec as scientist in the fibrosis research group. After 10 years of research aimed at identifying treatments for scarring diseases and improving wound healing Dr. Baxter completed her medical molecular genetics training fellowship at UCLA. She is certified in molecular genetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics. At Ambry, Dr. Baxter specializes in exome analysis.