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Susan Sunkin joined the Allen Institute in 2004 and currently serves as the Associate Director, Program Management and the Scientific Program Manager for the Cell Types Program, which is performing a systematic investigation of cell type properties and connectivity to derive a cell type classification scheme and a taxonomy or “Periodic Table” of cell types in parallel in mouse V1 and human middle temporal gyrus (MTG), and to test the universality of this cellular makeup across other cortical regions. This approach will generate tools for genetic access, single cell phenotypic data, and knowledge (classification and characterization of types) that will be used to generate computational models of cortical function. Prior to her current role, she was the initial Production Manager for the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas and then managed large-scale and collaborative projects, such as the BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain and the NIH Blueprint Non-Human Primate (NHP) Atlas.
Before joining the Allen Institute, she spent nearly three years in the production environments at Celltech R & D, Inc. and Genelex Corporation. At Celltech, Susan was manager of the Core Technology Group, which performed a variety of services, including genotyping, sequencing, quantitation, and bioinformatics. In addition, her group was responsible for methods development for the genomics department and for automating genomics and molecular biology procedures for the entire R & D facility. At Genelex, she was the Director of Genome Services, responsible for managing genomics contract research projects and for supervising the production of human identity testing data generated by the paternity and forensics groups.
Susan holds a B.A. in microbiology from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics, biochemistry, and microbiology from the University of Cincinnati. She did her post-doctoral training at the University of Cincinnati and the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.