The CombiMatrix Medical Team
Karine Hovanes, Ph.D., F.A.C.M.G
Vice President of Scientific Advancement and Laboratory Director
Dr. Hovanes received her B.S. degree in Genetics from the University of California, Davis, and her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Irvine. She completed her clinical cytogenetics and clinical molecular genetics trainings at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of California Los Angeles Intercampus Medical Genetics Training Program. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Medical Genetics as a Clinical Cytogeneticist and Clinical Molecular Geneticist. Her research projects in molecular biology have focused on characterization of structure and function of a number of genes implicated in human diseases.
Prior to joining CombiMatrix, Dr. Hovanes held positions as Assistant Director at the Molecular Laboratory at Esoterix and at the Genetics department at US LABS.
Trilochan Sahoo, M.D., F.A.C.M.G
Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Director of Cytogenetics
Dr. Sahoo received his undergraduate and graduate medical education in India, following which he pursued post-doctoral studies in the departments of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics at Duke University Medical center, Durham, NC. His postdoctoral work spanned the fields of bacterial genetics to positional cloning of genes responsible for human Mendelian disorders. He received his clinical cytogenetics training at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Medical Genetics and a fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics.
His primary research interests include understanding the mechanisms and clinical implications of complex genomic rearrangements and imprinting disorders. Prior to joining Combimatrix, Dr. Sahoo was a Senior Director in the Clinical Cytogenetics department at Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute, San Juan Capistrano, CA.
Michelle Strecker, MS, CGC
Senior Director of Genetic Counseling Services
Michelle Strecker earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Washington and her Master’s of Science in Genetic Counseling from the University of Texas—Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. A board-certified genetic counselor with over a decade of clinical experience, Ms. Strecker began her career in 1999 as a prenatal genetic counselor at the University of Texas – Houston Medical School, where she also actively participated in the instruction and clinical supervision of UT Houston genetic counseling students. She then spent a year in the private sector providing prenatal genetic counseling and laboratory support for a cytogenetics and cystic fibrosis carrier screening laboratory. From 2004-2010, Ms. Strecker worked as a pediatric and adult genetic counselor with the University of California, San Francisco, where she saw patients in a number of specialty clinics, and worked closely with Division Chiefs Dr. Charles Epstein, and later Dr. Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, to help streamline clinic operations to improve patient care. In 2010, Ms. Strecker joined CombiMatrix as the Director of Genetic Counseling and Communications. She remains committed to patient-centered care, and works support CombiMatrix’s clients by providing them with the most relevant and up-to-date information about their patients’ results and their implications for clinical care.
Sara Commander, MS, CGC, LGC
Laboratory Genetic Counselor
Sara Commander earned her Bachelor's of Arts in Cell/Molecular Biology from Washington and Jefferson College and her Masters of Science in Genetic Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh – Graduate School of Public Health. Sara has several years of experience as a laboratory genetic counselor working in labs that specialize in both newborn screening and microarray testing. Prior to joining CombiMatrix, Sara worked as a laboratory genetic counselor for PerkinElmer Genetics and Signature Genomics where she assisted clients with case management in both newborn screening and cytogenetics and provided clients with information and education about patients’ results. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Genetic Counseling and a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.