Karen currently leads 3 bioinformatics groups comprising Computational Biologists and Supervisors with specialties in software development, high throughput bioinformatic analysis and integrative analysis. These groups create and operate robust high throughput analysis pipelines that support programs such as the BC Cancer Personalized OncoGenomics Program, and the NCI funded HIV+ Tumour Molecular Characterization project.
Karen has spent over 25 years in the field of genomics at 2 internationally recognized sequencing centres. The focus of her work has been on improving human health; from generating high quality reference genomes to better understand disease, to integrated analysis for personalized medicine. Karen’s career began at the Sanger Centre (now the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute) where the focus of her group’s work was on generating high quality reference genomes of model organisms including Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast) and Schizosaccharomyces pombe (brewer’s yeast). Later the group worked on reference genomes for diseases that are of fundamental importance for human health, including the causative agents of tuberculosis, plague, typhoid fever, whooping cough, diphtheria, meningitis and malaria.
Working at the GSC Karen has been involved in process development and improvement in analysis pipelines with a particular focus on structural variant discovery and their role in cancer. This experience has been shared across Pan Canadian and international projects such as PROFYLE and TCGA. Currently the focus of her groups is on improving analysis pipelines to deliver rapid, robust, reproducible analysis for personalized medicine.