CULLOWHEE – Debbie Green, manager of medical and scientific affairs for the U.S. molecular diagnostics division of Roche Diagnostics Corporation in Indianapolis, recently led a group of Western Carolina University clinical laboratory sciences students in exercises designed to expose them to real-world genetic analysis.
Green and her colleague Neal Phalora, technical support and training consultant with Roche, guided students in a state-of-the-art laboratory in molecular diagnostics in which the students actually performed a linear array lab to detect gene mutations that can result in the inherited disease cystic fibrosis, said Christine Stevens, head of Western’s department of health sciences.
A 1988 graduate of Western’s clinical laboratory sciences program who now serves as an adjunct assistant professor, Green also gave a general talk on “The Revolutionary Changes in Health Care: The Impact of Molecular Diagnostics” while on campus.
Green’s primary responsibilities for Roche are the development of internal and external molecular educational programs, evaluation of technologies for new business development, and evaluation and monitoring of post-launch studies. She holds a doctorate in anatomical sciences and neurobiology from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pathology focused on clinical chemistry and toxicology.
The trip was sponsored by Roche Diagnostics as part of a new partnership with the university’s clinical laboratory sciences program. Roche has agreed to sponsor two trips a year for Green to return to her alma mater for guest lectures and laboratory exercises.
“It is important for clinical laboratory sciences students to have this kind of experience so they can be better prepared for the workplace,” Stevens said.