Which lab are you currently working in?
I am the manager of the DNA sequencing core facility.

What are you doing at Seattle Biomedical Research Institute?
Our core facility supports all the programs at Seattle Biomedical Research Institute by providing DNA sequencing, gene expression assays for real time PCR and other technical services.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Richland WA, also known as the atomic city as it is where Hanford is. My dad was an electrical engineer and helped design some of the nuclear reactors.

Where did you go to college? What did you like about your school?
I first went to community college where I completed most of my prerequisites. I then transferred to the Evergreen State College. I did the pre-eng/pre-med core program my first year and pre-med/molecular biology program the second year. I graduated with a BS degree with a focus in molecular biology. I really liked Evergreen because it had a small student: teacher ratio (20:1), I had the same teacher all year, it was integrated learning and part of my program was a seminar series with a strong writing focus.

What did you do after you graduated?
I worked in the Olympia Brewery as a brew chemist for a short time. Then I got a research position at Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory studying precursor cancer genes.

Why did you apply to grad school?
I was able to attend grad school at a local branch campus while working full time and Battelle paid for my graduate studies. I got a Master’s degree because I felt it would give me more marketability.

Why did you come to Seattle Biomedical Research Institute?
I moved to Seattle when my husband Tim got a job here. I came to Seattle Biomedical Research Institute to work on the Leishmania and T. cruzi genome sequencing projects(1-6).

What are your hobbies outside of the lab?
Gardening, mosaic tile work, going to the theater, travel, music, reading, going to the movies, spending time with my husband,and (NOT) cooking.

From where you are now, what advice would you give to incoming and graduate BioQuest students?
I usually learn so much from teens... Keep your mind open to all possibilities, remain interested, draw connections and be aware of these connections. Don’t forget to travel!


  1. The genome of the kinetoplastid parasite, Leishmania major.
  2. The genome sequence of Trypanosoma cruzi, etiologic agent of Chagas disease.
  3. Leishmania major chromosome 3 contains two long convergent polycistronic gene clusters separated by a tRNA gene.
  4. The Leishmania genome project: new insights into gene organization and function.
  5. Genomic organization and gene function in Leishmania.
  6. Leishmania major Friedlin chromosome 1 has an unusual distribution of protein-coding genes.