Scientists

Aaron Elliott, Ph.D.

Vice President, Research and Development

Dr. Elliott received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Franklin and Marshall College and went on to do his Genetics Ph.D. training at Thomas Jefferson University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His thesis involved studying the role of CREB-binding protein in germline and stem cell development. Dr. Elliott conducted his postdoctoral training in the cancer stem cell department at the Novartis Institute for Functional Genomics in San Diego, CA., where he studied potential drug targets for chemotherapeutic resistance and identified the first mitochondrial ABC transporter implicated in cancer drug resistance.

Phillip Gray, Ph.D.

Director, Assay Development

Dr. Gray joined Ambry Genetics in 2007 and currently serves as Director of Assay Development.  Dr. Gray began working with next generation sequencing technologies in 2007 and has expertise on several sequencing platforms and sample preparation/enrichment technologies.  As an early user of these new genomics technologies, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Ambry’s Research and Development team.  Throughout his career, Dr. Gray has held positions at Invitrogen/Life Technologies, Booz Allen Hamilton and Abbott Molecular.  Dr. Gray received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Georgia State University and received his Ph.D. in Applied Biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Hansook Chong, Ph.D.

R&D Scientist

Dr. Chong joined Ambry Genetics in July 2010 as an R&D scientist. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.S. in Biochemistry and received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of California, Irvine (UCI). As a recipient of the NIH Bioinformatics Training Grant and a student of the Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics at UCI, Dr. Chong specialized in bioinformatics. Her research has focused on genome-wide analyses of nuclear receptor FXR and proteins regulating cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis. Dr. Chong has been active in molecular genetics research for more than six years and has published numerous scientific articles on the genetics of fatty acid and cholesterol regulation, as well as NextGen sequencing analysis methods. 

Felicia Hernandez, Ph.D.

R&D Scientist

Dr. Hernandez received her undergraduate degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles and went on to do her Ph.D. training in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Irvine. Her thesis involved the development of novel assays to elucidate the dynamic protein-protein interactions that occur during herpes simplex virus type 1 infection and to probe an important structural property of a key regulatory protein necessary for viral replication.  Dr. Hernandez conducted her postdoctoral training in the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, where she studied a new class of anti-viral drugs, which target a cellular host factor and are effective at inhibiting hepatitis C virus replication.  

Hsiao-Mei Lu, Ph.D.

Bioinformatics Scientist

Dr. Lu received a B.A. from National Chiao Tung University, and a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a bioinformatics scientist at Ambry Genetics with a focus on the research and development of Ambry’s bioinformatics pipeline for next generation sequencing for clinical diagnostics. Dr. Lu did her post-doctoral training in the Department of Mathematics and Center for Complex Biological Systems at the University of California, Irvine. She has worked in diverse research areas, including allosteric protein communication, protein folding and drug design and has more than 10 years of experience in developing algorithms for scientific computing with mathematical modeling, machine learning, data mining and parallel computing techniques.
 

Xin Wang, PhD

Clinical Laboratory

Before joining Ambry Genetics in 2012, Dr Wang did cancer research at City of Hope Medical Center in Los Angeles (2004-2012). Prior to that he worked as research scientist at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey (1998-2004). Dr Wang received his PhD in biomedical science from University of Montreal, Canada. His research experience covered various areas in transplantation immunology, inflammatory diseases, drug resistance in cancer, cell signaling and biomarker research. His extensive research experience gave him a unique perspective on the importance of personalized medicine and became his motivation to move into molecular diagnostics.

Sepideh Karimi, PhD

Clinical Laboratory

Dr. Karimi received her B.S in Biology from Baylor University in Texas and her M.S in Microbiology and Immunology from University of Ottawa in Canada. After working in cancer research at Montreal General Hospital, she went on to do her second M.S in Molecular Biology at University of Montreal, working on spinal muscular atrophy mouse model. She completed her Ph.D. in Pathobiology at the University of Southern California. Her thesis was titled,” Role of BRCA1 on Cell Cycle Regulation in Ovarian Tumors” for which she received Scholar-in-Training award from The American Association of Cancer Research (AACR). As a post-doctoral fellow at USC, she initiated a human and primate stem cell culture facility for the Department of Neuroscience at USC.