Coffee Breaks with CGC Mentors

CGC Early Career Initiative Committee

Coffee Break with CGC Mentors

Are you a trainee or early career (1-5 years after training) CGC member?
Would you like to broaden your perspective by making professional contacts at different institutions?
Do you have questions relevant to your training or career development?
Would it be helpful to meet with an expert member in your field to answer these questions and more?

Then we invite you to join us for the CGC Early Career Initiative Committee’s 2024 Coffee Break with CGC Mentors.



  • These hour-long, small group mentoring sessions will be led by a CGC mentor and include up to six trainee/early career CGC members.
  • Placement is on a first-come, first-served basis and are limited to promote small-group interaction.
  • These mentoring sessions are only available for CGC members. If you aren’t a CGC member, and want to participate, you can become a member today!

Tentative topics of discussion:

     LGG fellowship applications and training

     Job search and offer letter negotiations

     Navigating the journey from fellow to faculty

     Strategies for meeting needs for academic promotion

     Translation research

     Industry vs academia (pros and cons)

     Work-life balance




Marilyn M. Li, MD, MS
Wednesday, April 17, 3:00 - 4:00pm EST / 2:00 - 3:00pm CST / 12:00 - 1:00pm PST

Alka Chaubey, PhD, FACMG

Marilyn M. Li, MD, MS
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Wednesday, April 17, 2024
3:00 - 4:00 PM EST

Marilyn M. Li, MD, MS is the Vice Chief of the Division of Genomic Diagnostics and Director of Cancer Genomic Diagnostics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her areas of expertise include clinical application of high throughput molecular technologies for integrated cancer genomic diagnosis, liquid biopsy for cancer screen, risk stratification and monitoring, characterization of tumorigenesis roles of novel fusions identified during RNA-seq of tumor tissues, and cancer associated fusions in healthy individuals, molecular diagnosis of overgrowth syndromes caused by somatic mutations in PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway.

Potential Discussion Topics:

  • Passion
  • Foundation
  • Conscientiousness
  • Innovation
  • Work-life balance

Yang Cao, PhD, FACMG
Friday, April 19, 1:00 - 2:00pm EST / 12:00 - 1:00pm CST / 10:00 - 11:00am PST

Honey Reddi, PhD, FACMG

Yang Cao, PhD, FACMG
Washington University in St. Louis

Friday, April 19, 2024
1:00 - 2:00 PM EST

Yang Cao, PhD, FACMG, is an Associate Professor and the Program Director of the Laboratory Genetics and Genomics Fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. After completing her Ph.D. training in Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she went to the Mayo Clinic for ABMGG fellowships in both Clinical Cytogenetics and Clinical Molecular Genetics. Dr. Cao is board-certified in ABMGG Clinical Cytogenetics and Clinical Molecular Genetics. Dr. Cao is actively involved in professional organizations, including the AMP Training and Education and Membership Affair Committees, ASHG Program Committee, ACMG Continuing Certification Program Committee, CAP/ACMG Cytogenetics Committee, and Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists Training and Education Committee. Her academic interests include clinical education in molecular and laboratory genetics and clinical research in genomic testing for constitutional diseases and somatic conditions.                      

Potential Discussion Topics:

  • LGG Fellowship
  • Training and education
  • Early career mentorship
  • Job search and negotiation

Avni Santani, PhD, FACMG
Thursday, April 25, 1:00 - 2:00pm EST / 12:00 - 1:00pm CST / 10:00 - 11:00am PST

Patricia M. Miron, PhD, FACMG

Avni Santani, PhD, FACMG

Thursday, April 25, 2024
1:00 - 2:00 PM EST

Dr. Santani holds over 20 years of experience in the diagnostics and healthcare industry sectors. Prior to her current role as Chief Medical Officer at LetsGetChecked, she was previously the Director of Clinical Laboratories and Strategic Initiatives at the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an Associate Professor of Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania. She formerly held roles within CHOP including within the Division of Genomic Diagnostics and within the Molecular Genetics Laboratory. At CHOP, Dr. Santanis work focused on creating a comprehensive diagnostics program by developing innovative technologies for diagnostics, forming public-private partnerships and discovery of novel genes associated with complex genetic disorders. At LetsGetChecked, she is responsible for the strategy, direction, and execution of clinical development plans and medical affairs. Under her leadership, the multi-disciplinary programs at LetsGetChecked include the clinical laboratory operations, research, and clinical development including whole genome sequencing programs, pharmacogenomics and high throughput Covid testing.                                 

Potential Discussion Topics:

  • Offer letter negotiations
  • Industry vs academia (pros and cons)
  • Academic promotion (strategies for meeting the needs for promotion)
  • Salary negotiations

Alanna Church, MD
Tuesday, April 30, 2:00 - 3:00pm EST / 1:00 - 2:00pm CST / 11:00am - 12:00pm PST

Linda Baughn, PhD, FACMG

Alanna Church, MD
Boston Children's Hospital

Tuesday, April 30, 2024
2:00 - 3:00 PM EST

Dr. Church is a Molecular and Pediatric Pathologist at Boston Children's Hospital, where she is a founder and associate medical director of the Laboratory for Molecular Pediatric Pathology (LaMPP). She is an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and the Program Director for the Harvard Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship, and the Chair of Training & Education for the Association for Molecular Pathology.

Her clinical and research work focus on bringing molecular testing to the clinical care of children with cancer. Through institutional projects (the Profile study, GAIN consortium study) we have profiled thousands of children's tumors and have used these results to make real-time impacts on their diagnoses and treatments. Dr. Church is also involved in national initiatives to improve the quality and access to molecular testing for children with cancer, including the NCI-funded Count Me In Study (Dana Farber, Broad Institute), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, National Institutes of Health, and the Children's Oncology Group.                                

Potential Discussion Topics:

  • Translational Research
  • How to navigate a career with an uncertain path forward

Adrian Dubuc, PhD, FACMG
Thursday, May 9, 3:00 - 4:00pm EST / 2:00 - 3:00pm CST / 12:00 - 1:00pm PST

Jane Houldsworth, PhD

Adrian Dubuc, PhD, FACMG
Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Thursday, May 9, 2024
3:00 - 4:00 PM EST

Adrian M. Dubuc, Ph.D., FACMG is the Vice-Chair for Clinical Research (Cytogenetics/Genomics) and the Director of the Clinical Cytogenetics Laboratory at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is an ABMGG-certified Cytogeneticist and Molecular Geneticist who has spent his career attempting to bridge the gap between research innovation and integration of genomic studies into clinical care. Dr. Dubuc completed his ABMGG Cytogenetics (2015) and Molecular Genetics (2017) training at Harvard Medical School’s training program, before joining staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (2015), where he served as a faculty Cytogeneticist and Molecular Geneticist for 8-years before joining Roswell Park in 2023.  He has published over 80-peer reviewed publications and contributed to numerous practice guidelines, including American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) evidence-based guidelines and quality assurance measures. His work has been recognized through >50 talks at national and international meetings. Dr. Dubuc has served as a former Program Chair of the CGC Annual Meeting (2019), President of the Cancer Genomics Consortium (2020) and as a member of the ACMG’s Cytogenetics Laboratory Quality Assurance Committee. Dr. Dubuc is passionate about improving the effective use of cytogenetics/genomics to ensure appropriate and accurate diagnosis, and management, for all patients.                                

Potential Discussion Topics:

  • Stick the landing! (Navigating the journey from fellow to faculty and negotiating your first contract)
  • What was I made for? (aligning your work schedule to achieve your career goals and passions)
  • The most powerful P word is: Process (running a clinical laboratory)
  • Being a zebra in a room full of horses (how to begin achieving recognition in the field).

Jun Liao, PhD, FACMG
Friday, May 17, 2:00 - 3:00pm EST / 1:00 - 2:00pm CST / 11:00am - 12:00pm PST

Obi Griffith, PhD

Jun Liao, PhD, FACMG
Columbia University
Medical Center

Friday, May 17, 2024
2:00 - 3:00 PM EST

Jun Liao, Ph.D., FACMG is a laboratory director and assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and his postdoctoral fellowship trainings from Yale University, University of Pittsburgh, and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is ABMGG Board certified in both Clinical Cytogenetics and Clinical Molecular Genetics. Since 2018, he has served as the Associate Program Director for Laboratory Genetics and Genomics (LGG) Fellowship Training at Columbia. His research areas of interest include new disease gene and variant discovery, novel technologies for genetic diagnosis, prenatal testing and screening, and expanded carrier screening.              

Potential Discussion Topics:

  • How to prepare a strong LGG fellowship application package
  • Explaining LGG recruitment process
  • How to have a fruitful LGG training
  • How to prepare for ABMGG board exams
  • How to find your first job post LGG fellowship
  • How to publish clinical papers