The Department of Human Genetics has American Board of Medical Genetics accredited training programs in clinical molecular genetics and clinical cytogenetics. The training programs have a wide range of clinical and research activities including orphan disease diagnostics, genotype-phenotype correlation studies, cancer genetics, translation of new gene discoveries for diagnostic purposes, technology development, centromere delineation, chromosome structure and function studies, and phenotype/karyotype studies. In addition, other research interests in the department include complex disease genetics, gene mapping, human gene variation and evolution and neurogenetics. 

Dr. Bai completed her molecular genetics fellowship at the University of Chicago in 2009. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medical & Molecular Genetics at Indiana University and Director of the Molecular Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory.

When and why did you first decide that you wanted to pursue ABMG accredited clinical molecular genetics training at the University of Chicago?

In 2003, I went to the University of Chicago to work as a Research Associate. My research project was a translational study to elucidate predisposition genetic loci leading to idiopathic hypercalciuria. This project gave me a good opportunity to learn the importance of translating scientific findings to clinical service. In 2006 I learned about the ABMG accredited clinical molecular genetics training program at the U of C and made my decision to switch my future career to molecular genetics diagnosis.

Tell me about what you have been doing since you left the University of Chicago in 2009?

In June 2009, I joined the Northwestern Reproductive Genetics Inc., serving as the Associate Director of the new molecular laboratory, where I had been fully responsible for setting up a brand new molecular diagnosis laboratory. In 2011, our family moved to Indiana. I started running the Indiana University Molecular Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory. Our lab provides testing for inherited and acquired genetic diseases. In addition to my clinical service part, I was assigned as the training program director, and started an ABMG- accredited fellowship training in 2012.

How has the fellowship program prepared you for your current position?

The two-year training successfully converted my career from translational research to clinical service. Before joining Soma’s group, I did not have any clue about how to provide genetic services or how to interpret test results. Two years later, upon completing my training, I was ready to run a molecular laboratory on my own.

What do you miss most about Chicago?

I miss the City life, the amazing downtown area of Chicago. But I will never miss the high living cost and the traffic. We still visit Chicago a lot. My two daughters love Chicago. In the summer we spend one week in Hyde Park where they get together with  their old school friends. Chicago has now become our first vacation choice.

Any memorable anecdotes or stories from your time here? 

When I worked there, all the lab people loved the pasta from DCAM (Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine). The two sequencers were named Pastaman and Cheeselady.  I miss them a lot. If they still work at the lab, please say “Hi” to them.