Trainee Research Excellence Award Winners Session: Genetics and Genomics Digital Forum

Recorded On: 11/16/2022

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This session features presentations by all 6 Trainee Research Excellence Award winners (formerly known as the Charles J. Epstein Award) from ASHG 2022. After each presentation there will be an opportunity for live Q&A. After all presentations there will be a 20-minute panel with all the winners.

Moderator: Latrice Landry MS, PhD, MSC


  • Frederik Filip Vinggaard Stæger, MS: Genetics and integrated -omics of diabetes and associated metabolic disorders in diverse populations
  • Marianne Lemée, MS: Navigating the complex genetic landscape of neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Layla Siraj: Massively parallel variant characterization
  • Nathan Nakatsuka MD, PhD: Populations evolving: Modeling genetic variation to understand evolutionary processes
  • Yosuke Tanigawa, PhD: The methylome and transcriptome of complex traits
  • Hai Nguyen, PhD: Let's talk about sex and its contributions to disease risk

Frederik Filip Vinggaard Stæger, MS

PhD Student

University of Copenhagen

Frederik Filip Vinggaard Staeger is a PhD student at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Section for Computational Biology. He did his bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biomedicine and master’s degree in Bioinformatics. He contributed to the discovery of a common loss-of-function variant in the Greenlandic population leading to sugar intolerance and associated with an improved metabolic profile. He was awarded the Bio-Elite PhD scholarship and has continued his work with the Greenlandic population under the supervision of Professor Albrechtsen. He was awarded the 2022 Predoc “Charles J. Epstein Trainee Awards for Excellence in Human Genetics Research” for his finding of a novel common diabetes associated HNF1A variant that allows for precision prognostics and (eventually) treatment in the Greenlandic population contributing to a more equitable health care.

Marianne Lemée, MS

PhD Candidate at IGBMC

University of Strasbourg & IMCBio Graduate School

Marianne Lemée is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC) in Strasbourg, France. She obtained her bachelor’s degree of Science for Health from the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, and her Master’s degree specialized in Stem cells and Developmental Biology from the University of Strasbourg with distinction. In 2021, she joined the selective international PhD program of the IMCBio graduate school. In 2019, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Christelle Golzio at IGBMC as an undergraduate student willing to contribute to translational research. Her current research focuses on identifying and elucidating the function of candidate genes involved in neurodevelopmental diseases. Notably, she discovered that dosage imbalance of the chromatin remodeler CHD1L contributes to the 1q21.1 CNV-associated mirrored neurodevelopmental phenotypes.

Layla Siraj

MD-PhD Student in Hilary Finucane and Eric Lander's Labs

Harvard-MIT MD-PhD Program

Layla Siraj is an MD-PhD student at the Harvard-MIT MD-PhD program. After completing her first two years of medical training at the Health Sciences and Technology program between Harvard Medical School and MIT, she began her PhD in the Harvard Biophysics program, where she is advised by Dr. Eric Lander (Broad Institute) and Dr. Hilary Finucane (Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital). Layla’s work focuses on uncovering the architecture of non-coding regulatory regions. Her work has been supported by the NSF-Simons Center for Quantitative Biology. She was awarded the 2022 pre-doctorate Charles J. Epstein Trainee Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Research for her work quantifying the regulatory landscape of >300k variants impacting complex human traits and disease.

Nathan Nakatsuka, MD, PhD

Post-doctoral Fellow

The Reich Lab and the New York Genome Center

Dr. Nathan Nakatsuka was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. He graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama High School then attended Harvard College, earning an AB in Chemical and Physical Biology. He then obtained an MPhil in Genetics from University of Cambridge on a Gates Cambridge scholarship, working at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute with Inês Barroso. Nathan received his MD at Harvard Medical School in the Harvard-MIT Health, Sciences, and Technology MD track and his PhD from the Systems, Synthetic, and Quantitative Biology PhD program working in the laboratory of David Reich on population genetics of South Asia and the Americas. During his PhD the majority of his work focused on studying ancient DNA to uncover the ancient history of North, Central, and South America. He currently is a postdoctoral fellow at the New York Genome Center in the laboratory of Rahul Satija working on single cell analyses of neuropsychiatric traits.  

Yosuke Tanigawa, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate at Computational Biology Lab


Dr. Yosuke Tanigawa is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Computational Biology Lab (PI: Prof. Manolis Kellis) at MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. He obtained his BS in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology from the University of Tokyo and his PhD in Biomedical Informatics from Stanford University. He develops statistical and computational methods for disease heterogeneity dissection, polygenic risk modeling, and therapeutic target discovery. Personal website:  

Hai Nguyen, PhD

California Institute of Regenerative Medicine Postdoctoral Fellow

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Hai Nguyen is a CIRM (California Institute of Regenerative Medicine) postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. He obtained his undergraduate at Washington State University and his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of California, Berkeley. His research focus is on gene regulation, adipose tissue, and obesity.


Epstein Award Winners Presentations Session
11/16/2022 at 1:00 PM (EST)  |  Recorded On: 11/16/2022
11/16/2022 at 1:00 PM (EST)  |  Recorded On: 11/16/2022