Genetics expert Patricia Rushton, PhD, has been appointed to the position of molecular director at PAML effective November 17, 2014. Dr. Rushton, a Diplomat of the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics in Clinical Cytogenetics, has more than 20 years of experience in cytogenetics and molecular medical genetics. Before joining PAML, Dr. Rushton was the director of cytogenetics at Signature Genomics, a division of Perkin Elmer, from 2011 to 2014. She has also held leadership positions in cytogenetics at Genzyme Genetics/Integrated Genetics in Santa Fe, NM and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
In her new role, Dr. Rushton will provide technical expertise in diagnostics and test development for PAML’s genetic testing services. This includes clinical oversight of the Molecular Genetics group, whose primary focus in on prenatal and constitutional genetics. In the past, Dr. Rushton’s work has focused on cytogenetics and molecular rearrangements in leukemia, and she will translate that experience into the constitutional genetics program expansion that PAML is developing. Major areas of growth for the program will be carrier screening and companion diagnostics supporting personalized medicine.
“I am delighted by the addition of Dr. Rushton to our staff of clinical experts,” said Francisco R. Velazquez, M.D., S.M., President and CEO of PAML, LLC and PAML Ventures. “Dr. Rushton has a strong record of research and brings an extraordinary and diverse body of expertise and accomplishments to this position. Her appointment helps ensure PAML’s continued expansion of cutting-edge genetics.”
“I anticipate that genetic testing and companion diagnostics will see strong growth at PAML in the next five years,” indicated Dr. Rushton. Genetic testing is a complex area that is constantly evolving. Molecular and genetic testing is a rapidly expanding area in medicine and is among the fastest growing segments of the laboratory. The National Institute of Health’s Genetic Testing registry lists over 17,000 laboratory test entries for more than 2300 conditions. This necessitates the need for PAML to expand into this area of the market to provide our physicians and patients the state-of-the-art testing they will need to provide appropriate healthcare in the diagnostic test market. “One of my goals is to bring improved client contact to the molecular division, to ensure that appropriate understanding of what the testing information can provide the physician,” stated Dr. Rushton.
Dr. Rushton earned her PhD in Medicine from the University of Pittsburg in 1992. From 1993 to 1996, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Human Genetics Department at Magee Women’s Hospital, which is part of the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine. She has co-authored several technical publications focused on cytogenetic abnormalities and has been an invited speaker at numerous professional and technical conferences.