By Justin Farris

Inside Phosphorus: Meet Andrew, Variant Curation Scientist!

Hey Andrew, tell us a little bit about yourself!

Oh hi, great to see you! Well let’s see, I’m a native New Yorker, and an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker (Georgia → Maine ‘03!). I love to cook new and exciting things at home and (in my previous line of work) in the lab. I earned my Ph.D. at Weill Cornell Medical College studying the role of genetics in brain development, and was a postdoctoral fellow at NYU Langone Medical Center working on potential treatments for ALS before joining the team at Phosphorus.

What is your title at Phosphorus? What do you do for the company?

I am a Variant Curation Scientist, which means I am one of the team of Ph.D. scientists that carefully assesses every genetic variant that comes through our system. In addition to that, I am helping to evaluate and improve our internal processes and software for this task, as well as interfacing between our R&D and Engineering teams.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

After many years in academic research, being able to translate that knowledge into improved health for patients and their families is really gratifying. While at work, the atmosphere is very collaborative, and lets me get out of my comfort zone to learn and do new things with teams of great people every day.

What have you learned from working at Phosphorus?

I’ve learned so much here that I couldn’t possibly write it all down: product strategy and design, running a clinical lab, database design, app development. Every person who works here is an expert in their field, bringing so much knowledge from so many directions, it’s really inspiring.

What has been your favorite project so far?

So far my favorite project has been improving our software for variant assessment. Like any scientist I want to know everything about my tools, and this really lets me get under the hood of how we can use our understanding of genetics to help people. Everyone involved provides great insights, and we’ve been able to put a really solid tool together.

What is your typical workday like?

No workday is really typical. But I try to balance variant assessment with designing new features, drinking coffee, and reading the newest findings in the field.

Do you have a personal mantra?


Tell us something about you most people don’t know.

I have a friend who used to write at The Simpsons. He took my idea for the name he should use in the credits of the Halloween Episode. I rank this among my greatest accomplishments.

What is one thing you are looking forward to in your free time this next year?

Getting married and then enjoying no longer having to plan a wedding!

Do you have any hobbies?

Ingress: a location-based, augmented-reality phone game with an amazing community.
Go NYC Enlightened! #BigTriangles

Which ice cream flavor best describes you?

Chunky Monkey, because i’m bananas (well, just a bit nutty), and full of chocolate.

Follow Phosphorus' Blog

Enter your email and click the 'Follow' button below to subscribe to the latest news from Phosphorus!

Read These Next


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *