Surrounded by geniuses – part 1: Katie

Since my first impressions are probably highly inaccurate, I should at least post corrections about my colleagues. Of course, the ‘genius’ part is 100% true. The rest is probably far too simplified, so I am compelled to introduce the members of the Su Lab who have not been adequately represented in my short first impression descriptions. Today, I will start with the Cool, friendly, adventurous genius: Katie Fisch.
I’m starting with Katie because I’ve been given the freedom to write about my colleagues in no particular order, and well, because she’s just so cool!
Prior to joining the Su Lab, Dr. Kathleen Fisch studied…fish!!! In particular, she investigated the historical population genetics of delta smelt and developed/implemented the delta smelt hatchery genetic management and monitoring plan as a post-doc at UC Davis. She then joined the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research as a Post-doc fellow creating individual-based forward-time computer simulations in Python and R to model population dynamics and genomics.

For anyone who was confused by that, it just means that she’s…a genius!

Need proof of her genius? Just take a look at the grants she was awarded:

  • California Sea Grant Delta Science Program, Principal Investigator, “Saving San Francisco Bay-Delta native fishes: Hatchery management and reintroduction strategies.” Awarded $167,739 for 2011-2013.
  • US Bureau of Reclamation, Co-Principal Investigator “Delta smelt refugial population genetic management and monitoring.” (Co-P.I. B. May) Awarded $771,599 for 2010-2015.
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service, Principal Writer

If she’s such a genius, why is she in the Su Lab? That’s probably because the genius-in-charge with insane mental organizational skills has a knack for collecting geniuses in order to work on his insanely complicated and multidisciplinary projects. Katie is currently trying to use her computational genomics and systems biology skills in order to identify drug therapies targeting aberrant gene expression, tumor mutations, and dysregulated pathways using the molecular profile of a patient’s tumor. In other words, personalized medicine!

Katie is also working on applying systems biology approaches to build a multidimensional molecular profile of osteoarthritis and aging; as well as, developing the Next generation sequencing analysis pipeline (‘omics pipe’).

To top it off, she is friendly and helpful, and when she’s not avidly working at her computer, you might find her in the great outdoors hiking, rock climbing, or sky diving.

Verdict: First impression description is not too far off. Katie really is a Cool, friendly, adventurous genius.


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