Human Genomics in Development and Disease

Erica Rinella, Ph.D.


Erica Rinella is a post doctoral fellow with primary research interests in cancer genetics and the utilization of personalized medicine for detection and treatment. She compiles information from SNP arrays and next generation sequencing, with special attention to patient clinical data and genetic background to identify predictors of disease.

Dr. Rinella is currently applying genome-wide studies to the development of risk assessment models for Ashkenazi Jewish women that are at high-risk for familial breast cancer but do not carry the BRCA1/2mutationscommon to this population. These women fall into a gray area in terms of recommendations for monitoring, and having the tools to accurately classify their risk will greatly increase the probability for early detection and prevention.

She is also studying treatment response of another complex disease, obesity. Bariatric patients have varying responses to surgical intervention for the treatment of obesity and obesity-related co-morbidities, such as diabetes. We are teaming up with the Geisinger Obesity Research Institute to identify genetic components behind the failure to maintain post-surgery weight loss, which will aide in the development of more effective treatment plans for bariatric patients. 

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