By Justin Farris

Inside Phosphorus: Meet Greg, Clinical Product Manager

Hey Greg, tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hey everyone—how’s it going? I was born and raised in New Fairfield, a small town in western Connecticut. I went to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, where I majored in biology and hoped to go to med school. After deciding I definitely did not want to go med school, I learned about genetic counseling during one of my genetics courses and thought that it sounded like a great way to be involved in the medical field while getting to focus on the subject I was most interested in—genetics! I attended the genetic counseling program at Stanford, and while I was there, an internship at Illumina got me interested in working on the industry side of clinical genetics.

After grad school I joined Recombine and provided genetic counseling via phone to couples who’d had expanded carrier screening. From there, I moved to the quality and control side, and assisted in report writing and review, and eventually managed our team of variant curators. Now I’m here at Phosphorus, where I get to design and manage our clinical genetic test offerings.

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

I am the Clinical Product Manager, which means that I help to design and implement the diagnostic genetic tests that we offer. I research genes and diseases to include in our testing panels and write clinical content that goes on our website and in our testing reports. I work closely with our R&D and engineering teams to oversee the validation and implementation of our tests, and assist our marketing team in the creation of educational and marketing materials.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The most satisfying part of my job is when we send out a report for one of the diagnostic tests that I have helped create, as it is the culmination of months of research, development, and implementation distilled down into a single clinical report that will hopefully make an impact in a patient’s care.

What have you learned from working at Phosphorus?

I have learned a lot about the technical aspects of next generation sequencing, from capture design, to alignment and variant calling. One of the best things about working at Phosphorus has been the opportunity to work closely with the talented people who work so hard to turn raw sequencing data into actionable, meaningful results.

What has been your favorite project so far?

My favorite project thus far has been the launch of our Cardiology test, which is our first clinical product. This project involved a lot of figuring out how to adapt our existing software and processes to a new therapeutic area (from carrier screening to cardiology). The problem solving that went into launching the Cardiology test has helped pave the way for all of our subsequent tests.

What is your typical workday like?

My typical workday usually includes:

  • Reading primary literature or sifting through databases to annotate the genes and diseases included in our tests
  • Writing clinical content, including test, gene, and disease summaries that appear on our website or in our clinical reports
  • Meeting with our engineering or R&D teams to discuss technical aspects of the development or implementation of new products

Do you have a personal mantra?

I like the expression, “Not my circus, not my monkeys,” which is an old Polish saying. It reminds me to not worry too much about things that you have no control over or that aren’t your business. In a work setting, it reminds me to trust the expertise of the people around me, and focus on what I need to accomplish.

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

In elementary school I was selected to be part of the Gifted and Talented program because I showed great promise and natural talent in the field of mime. My parents did not enroll me.

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

I look forward to spending as much time as possible with my dog Penny Lane. She is a sweet dog, but has a penchant for trying to eat all of the small animals on the streets of New York, so I want to spend more time trying to formally train her.

Do you have any hobbies?

I play in a few intramural sports leagues, including indoor soccer and beach volleyball, and like to play golf during the summer. Although, if i’m being honest, I spend way more time playing FIFA on playstation than doing any of those other things.

Tell us a funny or interesting recent dream you’ve had.

I have a recurring dream where I’m in my childhood room and a clone of myself crawls out from under my bed and comes towards me, but I can’t move or yell. I don’t know if this is funny or interesting, but it is really scary, and I hope someone can figure out what it means. Maybe I’m part of a prophecy or something?

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