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February 2021: Student Trainee Profile

Author: [AUTHOR] Published on 2/1/2021 12:00:00 AM

R Ly
Reynold Ly, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana

Dr. Ly did his PhD training in Dr. Liewei Wang’s laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. His thesis research focused on identifying and elucidating the role of genetic biomarkers involved in metformin anticancer response in breast cancer. After his doctoral training, he pursued postdoctoral training as a clinical pharmacology fellow in Dr. Todd Skaar’s laboratory at Indiana University in Indianapolis, IN. Currently, his postdoctoral research involves the study and application of next generation sequencing in clinical pharmacogenomics testing and investigating the role of rare genetic variants in drug response.

Mentors have had a major impact on Dr. Ly’s growth as a scientist, especially Dr. Liewei Wang, Dr. Richard Weinshilboum, and Dr. Todd Skaar. Through the joint Wang and Weinshilboum laboratory meetings, he learned about different approaches in pharmacogenomics research and implementation. Under their tutelage, he developed his scientific thinking and gained a strong background in pharmacogenomics. During his time with them, he discovered his passion for pharmacogenomics and the potential it has to impact and improve patient care. Dr. Wang and Dr. Weinshilboum also introduced Dr. Ly to ASCPT. They showed him that ASCPT is a good place to present pharmacogenomics research and to network during the Annual Meeting.

After defending his thesis, Dr. Ly joined the Skaar Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in clinical pharmacogenomics research. Dr. Ly explains that Dr. Skaar has been very supportive of his research studies as he has learned new skills in variant analysis and next‐generation sequencing and encouraged him to pursue research activities that would help him with his career development.

Dr. Ly’s career goals include gaining more experience with the application of pharmacogenomics in the clinical setting and laboratory genetic testing. One of his major goals is to gain experience in next‐generation sequencing as it becomes widely used in pharmacogenomics and other fields within genomic medicine. He is still discerning his career path, but he is aiming toward a career in laboratory genetics/genomics with a focus in clinical pharmacogenomics testing or genomic medicine.

In his current position in Dr. Skaar’s laboratory, Dr. Ly works with the Indiana University Health Precision Genomics Clinic to provide clinical pharmacogenomics support for patients with advanced cancer who had next‐generation sequencing performed as part of their genome‐guided therapy. “Sometimes we encounter patients who have extreme toxicity to chemotherapy in which we can use the patient’s germline sequencing to investigate for plausible genetic variants that may explain the toxicity. Depending on what we find, we may perform further research studies that may be translated into the clinic such as the rare deleterious DPYD variant we discovered in a patient who had severe capecitabine toxicity.”

Dr. Ly believes that his membership provides him the opportunity to share and receive input/feedback on his research at the annual conference and to also network with fellow researchers and experts in clinical pharmacology and translational medicine. He also attends the live webinars and has viewed the archived recordings available in the online library. He is thankful to ASCPT for their tremendous support for trainees/students like him through the travel grant program and the Presidential Trainee Awards. These opportunities have helped him tremendously to further his research and career development.

Dr. Ly has been a member of ASCPT since 2013.

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