Meet our Genomics Team

The David H. Murdock Research Institute’s Genomics laboratory specializes in customized services. Their ability to respond to a collaborator’s need for a customized project originates in the team’s extensive experience.

             Simon Gregory, PhD
             Scientific Advisor

Director of the Genomics Laboratory Simon Gregory, PhD, is an expert in the identification of the genetic, genomic, and epigenetic factors that underlie the development of chronic complex disease such as cardiovascular and neurological diseases. He gained experience in this area leading the mapping of the mouse genome and the sequencing of human chromosome 1 for the Human Genome Project to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying multi-factorial diseases. He is the principal investigator for the Duke University MURDOCK Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Primary Progressive MS studies, which are being conducted in partnership with the DHMRI Genomics Laboratory. He also co-directs the Duke University Program in Genetics and Genomics and the Duke Cancer Institute Program in Cancer Genetics and Genomics.


                    Jorge Marques Signes, PhD
Director of Operations and Genomics

Originally from València, Spain, Dr. Jorge Marques Signes joined DHMRI as Genomics Laboratory Group Leader in 2016. He earned his doctorate at the Universitat de València at the Institute for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology. He studied brittle leaf disease in date palms, deciphering both the disease etiology and its molecular basis. He moved to North Carolina in 2011 as postdoctoral researcher at Duke University. During his postdoc, he studied different aspects of the plant immune response primarily focusing on the relationship between the SA-mediated systemic acquired response and the DNA damage response. As Genomics Group Leader, he works with collaborators to develop protocols to maximize the use of the DHMRI’s genetic capabilities and to coordinate projects across DHMRI laboratories from proteomics and metabolomics to bioinformatics.

               Sabrina Coté, PhD, MS
               Staff Scientist

Staff Scientist Sabrina Coté, PhD, works with Dr. Simon Gregory on Discovery MS, an independent multiple sclerosis (MS) research program working to improve MS diagnosis, prediction of disease progression and assessment of treatment efficacy.  She previously researched genome instability and DNA recombination and repair as a graduate student at UNC Chapel Hill and as a postdoctoral scholar at Duke University.

             Oksana Gordon, MS
             Staff Scientist

As a founding member of the Genomics Laboratory, Staff Scientist Oksana Gordon has more than 30 years of research experience. In previous work, she conducted immunology research at the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine and cancer and photodynamic therapy research at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. In the United States, she performed agricultural research at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation before coming to the DHMRI in 2009.  As part of the Genomics team, she leads efforts to perform DNA and RNA extraction, library preparation and next generation sequencing.

             Gretchen Hoelscher, MS
             Staff Scientist

Staff Scientist Gretchen Hoelscher has extensive knowledge in molecular biology and cell culture gained from previous work at Carolinas HealthCare System’s (CHS) James G. Cannon Research Center.  At CHS, she was a staff member in an orthopedic research laboratory studying areas such as disc degeneration, stem cell differentiation, bone fracture healing and bone physiology.  At DHMRI, she manages the library preparation and development for the 10X Genomics partnership.

             Letitia Bullock
             Research Associate

Research Associate Letitia Bullock came to DHMRI from Carolinas HealthCare System’s James G. Cannon Research Center where she worked in an orthopedic research laboratory. She is now applying her expertise to extracting DNA and RNA used for Genomics projects.


Learn more about DHMRI Genomic capabilities and services.