Due to popular demand, BiSA is holding its 2nd Career Panel on Monday, March 23, from 3:30-5:30 PM in DBI Rm 102! We have four panelists from academia, healthcare, and industry, so you won’t want to miss it! This will be a great opportunity to get your questions answered, especially if you are wondering about the differences between career choices, or what to focus on during your graduate studies to be competitive and excel in the job market.
Below you will find a short bio for each panelist. Please review each bio and submit your questions no later than Thursday, March 19th.
Dr. Carl Schmidt
Dr. Carl Schmidt is a professor in Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Delaware, where he teaches several undergraduate courses to pre-veterinary students including Genetics and Biochemistry. In the past he has also taught the core BINF graduate course Introduction to Bioinformatics. He was involved in establishing the sequencing lab at UD and beginning the Bioinformatics educational curriculum. He has maintained a research lab at UD since 1997, where he studies genetics of the modern broiler chicken, including how selection for production characteristics has affected physiology, especially in terms of growth and response to heat stress.
Dr. Schmidt received his undergraduate degree from UD in Biology and Chemistry, his PhD in Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins, and completed postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School in Signal Transduction. Dr. Schmidt also has experience in the biotech industry, where he worked for three years as an Investigator for Smithkline Beecham. Dr. Schmidt collaborates with several academic colleagues around the world, and enjoys mentoring students with both biological and computational interests. He recently finished a sabbatical at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he studied gene editing of primordial germ cells in the chicken.
Dr. Vicky Funanage
Dr. Funanage is a molecular geneticist who joined Nemours in July 1981. She holds faculty positions at Jefferson Medical College/Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Delaware. Dr. Funanage was appointed to the position of Operational Vice President in 2014, having served as Director of Biomedical Research for Nemours since June 2000 and Director of Medical Research in the Delaware Valley since December 1998. She also serves as the Director of the CLIA-certified Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, Head of the Musculoskeletal Inherited Disease Laboratory, and PI of the NIH COBRE Delaware Comprehensive Sickle Cell Research Center at Nemours/AIDHC, as well as one of the strategic leads for the Precision Medicine Program at Nemours.
Recent committee service includes the Delaware Health Science Alliance Advisory Council, the DE-INBRE Steering Committee, the UD External Advisory Committee for the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Chair of the Internal Advisory Committee for the Delaware Clinical and Translational Research Program, the Delaware INBRE and CTR Coordinating Council, and the University of Delaware Research Foundation Board of Trustees.
Dr. Funanage has received external funding for her research work in understanding the genomic basis of pediatric musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders, and her publications include research on several neuromuscular diseases including myotonic dystrophy, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease, fibrous dysplasia, and spinal muscular atrophy.
Dr. Funanage received her M.S. in Genetics from the Pennsylvania State University in 1977, and her Ph.D in Biological Sciences from the University of Delaware in 1981. Her undergraduate degree is from The Pennsylvania State University (1975). She has received numerous honors, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award in Biological Sciences from the University of Delaware, the Bleyer Family Humanitarian Award from the Huntington’s Disease Society, and the Academic Research Award from the Delaware Bioscience Association. Dr. Funanage also holds six U.S. patents and one international patent for her research work.
Dr. Parth Patel
Dr. Parth Patel currently works as a Senior Data Scientist at IQVIA in clinical trial realm, leading data-driven solutions ranging from physician and patient recruitment to forecasting cost of clinical trials using real-world healthcare data (i.e., EHR, Rx, Dx, Citeline, ClinialTrials.gov, CTMS, etc.) leveraging AI/ML approaches.
Prior to joining IQVIA, Parth has Undergraduate and Master’s degree in Computer Science from Delaware State University. He received his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology from University of Delaware (in 2019), where he utilized multi-modal genomics data and ML techniques to identity bio-markers responsible for plant reproduction.
Dr. Mia Papas
Dr. Mia Papas is the Corporate Director of the ChristianaCare Value Institute where she is responsible for oversight of research and operations. She is also the site Principal Investigator for the Delaware Clinical and Translational Research (DE-CTR ACCEL) Program focused on building a research structure that allows for the rapid translation of research into practice targeting improved health outcomes for all Delawareans.
Dr. Papas’ expertise is the design and conduct of research that utilizes real-world evidence to understand disease, evaluate treatments, and demonstrate the impact of healthcare innovations and interventions. She is actively engaged in research that leverages data from electronic health records, administrative claims, registries, and government databases to answer critical questions about disease epidemiology, burden, and costs. Through a focus on real world evidence, she works toward bridging the gap between clinical and translational research, advancements in the quality of care, and improved population health outcomes.
Dr. Papas received her PhD in Epidemiology from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, her Masters of Science in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Fairfield University. She has authored over 60 peer-reviewed articles, obtained funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and presented her research at over 120 national and international conferences. Dr. Papas has analytic expertise in experimental and observational study designs, the assessment of validity and reliability of screening tools, generalized and hierarchical linear modeling, and the use of geographical information systems in understanding the effect of place on health and health behaviors. She has been an active member of the American Public Health Association and the American College of Epidemiology for over 15 years and is a Founding Board Member for the Delaware Public Health Association. She has taught the principles of epidemiology throughout the world and is committed to developing good scientific practice in medical research. She is a native Delawarean and lives in Newark with her husband and two daughters.