Medical and Science Team

Linda Wasserman, M.D., Ph.D.

Laboratory Director

Prior to joining the Pathway Genomics team, Dr. Wasserman was a clinical professor of medicine at UC San Diego. For many years, she was the medical and laboratory director of the Molecular Genetics Laboratory, a clinical genetic testing laboratory, at UC San Diego. In addition, she established and directed the DNA Sequencing and Molecular Pathology laboratories within the Rebecca and John Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego.

Dr. Wasserman's research interests have included genetic predictors of outcome in prostate and breast cancer as well as genetic predictors of risk for development of breast cancer. She has served as a scientific reviewer for the DOD Breast Cancer Research Program as well as for the Innovative Technologies for the Molecular Analysis of Cancer Program of the National Cancer Institute. Additionally, she served on the CAP/ACMG Biochemical and Molecular Genetics Resource Committee. Dr. Wasserman received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Stanford University, a doctorate in psychology from UCLA and a medical doctorate from UC San Diego. Prior to joining the faculty at UC San Diego, she completed a residency in anatomic pathology and a post-doctoral fellowship in genetics and molecular oncology at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, both at UC San Diego. She is board-certified in anatomic pathology and molecular genetic pathology.

Lixin Zhou, Ph.D.

Director of Bioinformatics

Lixin acquired his doctorate in biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and in 1995 he began his genomics and bioinformatics career as a postdoctoral fellow at The Institute for Genomics Research, now a part of the J. Craig Venter Institute. Lixin participated in sequencing and annotating a number of microbial and eukaryotic genomes, including human (chromosome 16) and Methanococcus jannaschii, the third organism whose genome was completely sequenced.

Lixin provided bioinformatics support for drug target screening and validation studies at Ariad-Hoechst Genomics Center, and from 2000 to 2007, he was the senior bioinformatician at Illumina. Among his responsibilities at Illumina, he selected SNPs and probes for Infinium genotyping microarrays, selected CpG loci and probes for methylation microarrays, performed microarray data analysis, and built the bioinformatics and sample tracking databases, including the microarray manufacturing QC database. Additionally, Lixin built the bioinformatics infrastructure and conducted next-generation sequencing data analysis at Prognosys Biosciences. In 2009, Lixin joined Pathway Genomics, where he created Pathway's proprietary laboratory information management system, and data analysis pipeline.

Adrian Vilalta, Ph.D.

Director of Scientific Content

Adrian obtained his doctorate in chemistry/biochemistry from Georgetown University after which he pursued post-doctoral work at the University of Southern California. He has contributed to the understanding of the mechanisms of gene expression regulation and the modulation of immune response through numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals. Before joining the Pathway Genomics team, Adrian led the molecular biology research and development group at EMD-Millipore (Merck KGa) (2009-2012). In this capacity, he was responsible for the development of next-generation sequencing products for the Illumina and Ion Torrent platforms.

In addition, his team developed qPCR panels for mitochondrial copy number, cellular metabolism, stem cell research and drug discovery applications. His team also developed technologies for the efficient evaluation of DNA methylation by ChiP-NGS. During his time at Vical (1998-2008) Adrian contributed to the development of genetic vaccines for cancer and infectious diseases. He made contributions to the development of genetic vaccines for influenza, anthrax, CMV, measles, and SARS, amongst others. While at Vical, Adrian pioneered the use of micro array technology (Affymetrix) for the understanding of the mechanism of action of vaccine adjuvants through gene expression profiling..

Advisory Board


FOLKERT ASSELBERGS, M.D., Ph.D.

Expertise: Clinical Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Genetic Epidemiology
Associate Professor of Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Division of Cardiology, Netherlands
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Community and Family Medicine in Epidemiology, Dartmouth Medical School

ARNE ASTRUP, M.D., Ph.D.

Expertise: Nutrigenomics, Nutrition, Obesity
Head, Department of Human Nutrition
Faculty of Life Sciences
University of Copenhagen

CLAUDE BOUCHARD, Ph.D.

Expertise: Metabolism, Obesity and Exercise Genetics
John W. Barton, Sr. Endowed Chair in Genetics and Nutrition
Former Executive Director, Pennington Biomedical Research Center and George A. Bray Chair in Nutrition

GEORGE CHURCH, Ph.D.

Expertise: Genetics, Molecular Engineering, Chemistry
Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, MIT
Founding Core Faculty Member, Wyss Institute

WALMIR COUTINHO, M.D.

Expertise: Endocrinology and Diabetes
Professor of Endocrinology, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
President-Elect, International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO)

JILL DAVIES, M.S., CCGC

Expertise: Genetic Counseling
Genetics Program Director, Medcan Clinic

KEVIN DAVIES, Ph.D.

Expertise: Renowned Science Editor and Publisher
Author of The $1,000 Genome (2010), Cracking the Genome (2000), and Breakthrough (1995)
Founding Editor, Nature Genetics
Vice President, Business Development, American Chemical Society
Publisher, Chemical & Engineering News

PIETER DOEVENDANS, M.D., Ph.D.

Expertise: Genetics and Tailored Therapy in Cardiovascular Disease
Professor and Chairman, Department of Cardiology, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Chairman and Medical Manager, Division Heart and Lungs, University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands

JOE ECKER, Ph.D.

Expertise: Human Epigenetics
Professor and International Council Chair in Genetics, Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory at Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Member, National Academy of Sciences

JAMES H. FOWLER, Ph.D.

Expertise: Behavioral Genetics
Professor, UCSD School of Medicine and the Division of Social Science
Affiliate, Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems at CALIT2
World Renowned in Genetics and Social Networks, Behavioral Economics, Cooperation, and Political Behavior

KEN FUJIOKA, M.D.

Expertise: Weight Management, Metabolism, Obesity Clinical Trials
Director, Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center and the Center for Weight Management, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California
Assistant Clinical Professor, University of California, San Francisco

KAREN HERBST, M.D., Ph.D.

Expertise: Weight Management, Obesity, Endocrinology
Assistant Professor of Medicine, UCSD
Physician and Endocrinologist, San Diego VA Medical Center, UCSD Thornton Hospital, and UCSD Medical Center

JULIE A. JOHNSON, PHARM.D., FCCP, BCPS

Expertise: General and Cardiovascular Pharmacogenetics
V. Ravi Chandran Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida
Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine), College of Medicine, University of Florida
Director, Center for Pharmacogenomics, University of Florida
Director, UF&Shands Personalized Medicine Program

CHRISTOPH LANGE, Ph.D.

Expertise: Bioinformatics and Genetics
Associate Professor Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Harvard University
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

ELISSA LEVIN, M.S., CGC

Expertise: Genetic Counseling
Assistant Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

NICHOLAS J. SCHORK, Ph.D.

Expertise: Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Nutrition
Professor and Director, Human Biology, J. Craig Venter Institute
Professor of Psychiatry and Biostatistics (Adjunct), UCSD