Hailey Sedam, PhD 2018 – Argueso Lab, ERHS

Hailey Sedam completed her PhD in 2018 in Dr. Argueso’s lab. Her research interests include human genetic disease and genetic variant analysis. After completing a postdoc at the University of New Mexico’s Cancer Research Facility, Hailey began work at Clinical Genomics Scientist at Myriad Women’s Health.


Can you say a little about your current job/research?

I am a Clinical Genomics Scientist at Myriad Women’s Health. My job entails analyzing genetic variants that have been detected through our carrier screening platform. I find, review, and interpret literature and other evidence to determine whether a detected variant puts a couple at risk of passing down a serious, clinically-actionable, inherited condition.


What attracted you to the CMB program at CSU?

I was looking for programs with translational genetic research and had been fascinated by Copy Number Variation during my undergraduate education. I really liked that CMB had the option for subspecialties; I chose to obtain the cancer biology specialization. All of my interests seemed to align extremely well with Dr. Lucas Argueso’s research. As soon as we spoke, he immediately became a mentor to me which made the transition into graduate school less daunting. It was a bonus that I already had family and friends in Colorado!


How have you used the training you received through CMB?

The training that I received through CMB has shaped everything that I do as a researcher. My time in Dr. Lucas Argueos’s lab provided me the technical genetic skills necessary for success in my career. In addition to my research skills CMB trained me in grant writing and presentation, which are skills that were immediately beneficial in my post-doctoral position and in my current job. Specifically, the Critical Analysis of Scientific Literature course prepared me well for my current position, in which it is essential to analyze and interpret many different pieces of scientific literature to form a cohesive picture of the effect of a genetic mutation.


Do you have any favorite memories from your time at CSU?

One of my all-time favorite memories from my time at CSU is from my first year as a graduate student. All the students in my cohort took STEM communications together. That class made us work hard to get out of our comfort zones to become better presenters and performers. Going through the silliness and awkwardness of performing with my cohort bonded us together from the start! In fact, all of my favorite memories at CSU revolve around the amazing people that I met, and the friendships that were formed.


What advice do you have for a new CMB graduate student?

Use your resources. Talk to your advisors, your CMB director, your committee members, and your fellow graduate students. Everyone there wants you to succeed, and viewing these individuals as part of your graduate success team will prepare you to reach out for help when you need it, or to offer help to others when you can. Additionally, CSU and CMB have excellent opportunities for professional development. Use those opportunities to gain all extra experiences you can while you’re in graduate school. Attend all of the poster presentations, seek out leadership opportunities, get experience writing and presenting, and go to external workshops to learn additional skills that you may not be getting in your own research.


What do you miss most about CSU and Fort Collins?

I miss the people and the community. CMB is such a tight knit group of people, and I was very lucky to have them not only as my colleagues, but as my friends.


Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

I hope to stay in the Clinical Genomics field for the rest of my career. The field is growing and changing rapidly and I am thrilled that I have found a profession where I have the ability to continue to learn from and contribute to the wealth of genetic information that is being created.