Heidi Rehm, PhD, FACMG
Associate Professor of
Pathology, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard
Chief Laboratory Director,
ASHG: If you could go back to when you
were a trainee, what is one piece of advice you would give
yourself for your current career?
Dr. Rehm: If I could go back to my days as a trainee, I would allocate
more time in my education for learning bioinformatics and
statistics. These skills are critical in the era of genomics
and the evaluation of evidence for a gene or variantís role
ASHG: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your job?
My least favorite part of my job is sleep deprivation. There
is just too much to do in the fast-moving world of genomics
and not enough time to do it!
My favorite part is watching how quickly we are making a
difference in the lives of patients with advances our field
makes everyday. With many new projects focused on worldwide
activities and data sharing to advance our understanding of
health and disease I see a global community joining
together. This allows us all to move ahead faster by
reducing redundancy and bringing larger data sets together
to enable discoveries that could not happen when data sits
in silos. It's fun to meet new people, share ideas and make
ASHG: What do you
think the future holds for the field of genetics?
Rehm: I look ahead to a time when we will have
deciphered all of the causes of disorders with a genetic
basis and are able to effectively treat, manage and often
prevent the morbidity and mortality associated with rare
disorders. I also look to a future where our genomes not
only inform those with rare disease, but offers risk
prediction that actually makes a difference in how we manage
our health. This will be facilitated by supporting a
healthcare environment that guides all physicians in the use
of genomics and supports continuous learning models and
better standards for healthcare as a whole.
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