Stephen McGee Recipient of 2019 Susan R. Patterson Award at GGC

Stephen McGee Recipient of 2019 Susan R. Patterson Award at GGC

GREENWOOD, SC (July 22, 2019) – Stephen McGee has been awarded the 2019 Susan R. Patterson Professional
Development Award in Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics by the Greenwood Genetic Center Foundation (GGC).

McGee, who joined GGC’s faculty in 2010, earned a Master of Science in Bioinformatics at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte and is currently
pursuing his PhD in Biomedical Data Science and Informatics from Clemson University. McGee was GGC’s first bioinformatics specialist.

The annual award recognizes the efforts of an individual at GGC whose primary professional role is to support and develop the bioinformatics and computational
genomics work performed at GGC. 

“As genetic testing has advanced, one of the greatest challenges has been in managing the tremendous amounts of data that these technologies generate,”
said Mike Friez, PhD, Director of GGC’s Diagnostic Laboratories. “Stephen’s work in leading the
development of our whole genome sequencing analysis pipeline and mentoring our junior bioinformatics personnel has been stellar, especially considering
he is working full time while pursuing his doctoral degree.”
McGee has also worked to develop strategies for the use of machine learning to manage the large amounts of data generated by some of GGC’s research technologies
with the goal of improving the ability to diagnose especially complex cases.
“The challenge of interpreting the complex data of our patient population at the Greenwood Genetic Center is both formidable and exciting,” said McGee.
“We are driven by not only striving for accuracy in our analyses, but also by providing meaning to the test results so that we can improve our understanding
and the quality of life for the families that we aim to help.”
“All of our efforts at GGC are geared toward improving patient care – making diagnoses and working to improve the quality of life for those we serve,”
shared Friez. “Stephen’s work in interpreting complex genetic findings makes it possible for us to give more patients an answer and end their diagnostic
Dr. Walt Patterson, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Lander University, established the Susan R. Patterson Professional Development Award in Bioinformatics & Computational Genomics through a gift to the Greenwood Genetic Center Foundation in memory of his wife. The award serves to honor and perpetuate her lifelong devotion to
the field of education in mathematics. Susan was also passionate about supporting families and children faced with genetic disorders who are served
by GGC.
“I am beyond honored to be a recipient of this award,” said McGee. “It is truly humbling to be a part of honoring Susan Patterson and her commitment to
mathematics education. I can’t thank the GGC Foundation and Dr. Patterson enough for their dedication to advancing the field of Computational Biology.”


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Makayla was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome in April of 2015 at the age of two. At about 18 months, we noticed she had started some repetitive hand motions, and her pediatrician was a little concerned that she did not have many words. She had learned some sign language, and was saying ‘mama’ and ‘dada’, but that was it. Then she suddenly stopped all of that. At her 2 year old check-up, the pediatrician referred us to BabyNet, SC’s early interve...

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