Faculty
Oncology Division
Alphabetical list (active faculty):   
Felicia I. Gomez

Felicia I. Gomez, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Medicine

Oncology Division

Stem Cell Biology

Research Interests

  • Genomics of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas
  • Somatic variation in cancer across diverse human populations

Contact

  • 314-747-1547 (office)
  • 314-286-1810 (fax)
  • Division of Oncology
    Mail Stop 8007-0066-05
    Washington University
    660 South Euclid Avenue
    St. Louis, MO
  • Room 5140, 4444 Forest Park Avenue (office)
  • Room 5140, 4444 Forest Park Avenue (lab)

Research

Deep Sequencing of Hodgkin Lymphoma Genomes and Associations of Survival and Disease Progression with Somatic Variation

Classic Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) accounts for 10% of all lymphomas in the western world, and remains a substantial clinical problem. Although standard treatments are effective, some patients will relapse, or will be primary refractory. cHL is defined by a rare malignant B cell (Hodgkin-Reed-Sternberg, HRS cell) that occupies a small fraction of the tumor microenvironment. Despite many advances in next generation sequencing, the identification of somatic variants in cancers characterized by rare cell populations remains technically and analytically challenging. This is in part due to low signal vs. noise ratios and a lack of well-developed variant calling and filtering algorithms optimized for low variant allele frequency (VAF) variants. These obstacles have resulted in a limited number of studies that have used high throughput sequencing technologies to characterize the genomic landscape of cHL.

We address this shortfall by asking two questions: 1) Can ultra deep exome-wide sequencing, paired with analysis and filtering strategies optimized for low VAF variants, accurately identify somatic variants in cHL; 2) Are low VAF somatic variants from HRS cells, identified using optimized filtering and analytic strategies, associated with disease outcomes in cHL.