Dr. Wagner to Join Nationwide Children's Hospital

Dr. Alex Wagner will join the Institute for Genomic Medicine to start his own lab in medical informatics and genomic medicine.

This summer, Dr. Alex Wagner leaves behind his friends and colleagues in the Griffith Lab to join Dr. Richard Wilson and Dr. Elaine Mardis at the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH). There he will finish out his mentored K99 research before starting his own laboratory in the summer of 2021. He plans to develop a research program around informatics standards and tools for collecting and connecting disparate clinical annotations to assist in the diagnosis of pediatric cancers and rare diseases.

Alex joined the Griffith Lab in 2015, in elbow-to-elbow seating in the transitional “Pink Room” on the fourth floor of 4444 Forest Park. Since joining straight out of his Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa, Alex has been a key contributor to the development of precision medicine web tools, knowledge representation standards, and the molecular characterization of relapsed small cell lung cancers. His works on these topics were reflected in 14 co-authored publications (5 as first author) with a collective 768 citations. His primary postdoctoral project was the analysis of the VICC meta-knowledgebase, an international collaborative work he first-authored that was recently published in Nature Genetics.

Alex’s research on clinical knowledge standardization has earned him numerous accolades, including an ICTS Precision Medicine award, the CGC First-place Trainee Abstract award and an AACR Scholar-in-Training award. He was also awarded several highly competitive postdoctoral training and research awards, including the Siteman Cancer Biology Pathway T32, an NCI F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship, and an NHGRI K99 Career Development award.

Finally, Alex leaves behind a favorite pastime in the Griffith Lab fantasy football league, an annual tradition he founded, organized, and managed for the duration of his postdoctoral training. He hopes the annual contest will continue with new cadres of Griffith Lab trainees, and that the Golden Toilet Seat will remain on display on last-place managers’ desks for many years to come.