I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Microbiology & Immunology. I then accepted a job at DNA Plant Technology (nee Advanced Genetic Sciences), a biotech startup that specialized in plant genetic engineering. My project there, Frostban™, resulted in the first release of a genetically modified organism into the environment and was designed to protect crops from bacteria that expressed an ice-nucleating protein, resulting in frost damage. The company was also known for being the first to discover RNA interference, as it was used as a tool to suppress pigment genes in petunia.
I then joined Life Technologies (nee Applied Biosystems), where I developed genotyping assays for plants and animals. One of my career highlights was in 1999, working on the Wolf Relocation Project team in Yellowstone National Park. I designed DNA analysis assays to confirm observations by the field biologists. As a Senior Staff Scientist, I was the Science Lead for the development of sequencing instruments (3130, 3730, 3500, 5500), which were a joint venture with Hitachi Hi-Technologies. The 3730 instrument was used to sequence the first human genome in 2003. Finally, I became a Senior Product Manager in the Human Identification group, which provides the tools necessary for forensic labs to perform DNA analysis. My job was to oversee planning, forecasting, and production of all the instrumentation needed to perform DNA analysis in a forensic lab.
My responsibilities in the Dillin lab are Finance, Human Resources, Procurement, Lab & Equipment Maintenance & Career Advice.
In the lab I coordinate all of our Next Generation Sequencing projects and the Bioinformatics that follow the sequencing.