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Alexa Dickson

Alexa Dickson

Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Alexa Dickson is a Clinical Variant Scientist with over a decade of experience in curation of gene-disease relationships and classification of the clinical significance of DNA variants. Dr. Dickson's genetics and molecular biology career began at the University of Missouri, where she developed RNA-based therapeutics for spinal muscular atrophy during her PhD studies. Her research contributions expanded through her postdoctoral fellowship at Colorado State University, where she investigated the role of the human protein CUGBP1 and mRNA decay in myotonic dystrophy.

Currently, Dr. Dickson is the Senior Clinical Variant Scientist at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Here, she has successfully launched Clinical Exome Sequencing, which has quickly become one of the laboratory's most sought-after sequencing tests. Additionally, she coordinates the training and onboarding of clinical variant scientists and fellows, while also supervising the entire clinical variant scientist team. Her interests extend to translational research projects, where she contributes her expertise to variant analysis and interpretation.

Prior to her current position, Dr. Dickson held multiple key roles at ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a Senior Clinical Variant Scientist, she designed standard operating procedures for variant curation and reporting, and developed gene lists for new next-generation sequencing gene panels. Earlier roles at ARUP demonstrate her versatility and innovation through contributions to clinical trial protocols and the creation of a variant classification and reporting software.

Beyond her work with Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, Dr. Dickson is actively engaged in outside professional service in contributions to the ClinGen Inborn Errors of Metabolism Clinical Domain Working Group on the ACADVL, Peroxisomal Disorders, and Galactosemia Variant Curation Expert Panels. She also maintains certifications from organizations such as the American Society for Quality and the American Society for Clinical Pathology.