Jessica Podnar, Associate Director

Jessica is the experience and the conductor of the NGS service operations.  All communications to go through Jessica’s desk as she coordinates jobs, communicates with clients and skillfully troubleshoots any problems that may arise.  Since joining the GSAF in 2010, Jessica has managed the facility through several generations of sequencing and library construction technologies in this rapidly changing field, collecting a wealth knowledge and perspective that benefits the GSAF and its clients along the way. 

Matt Barnette, Research Engineering/Scientist Associate III

Matt is the genomic library preparation master.  Whether RNA or DNA, short fragments or long, simple steps or complex, there is no procedure Matt has not tamed.  When not keeping rhythm on the drums for a local band, Matt is busy writing scripts to help our internal processes run efficiently and accurately. 

Heather Diederick, Research Associate

Heather is one of several PhD scientists on staff and has years of experience with all manner of molecular biology techniques. She currently specializes in working with researchers to develop new approaches and protocols for the GSAF. If you want to try something new with NextGen sequencing, contact us. We are eager to try new methods to get you the data you need!

Gabriella Huerta, Research Engineering/Scientist Associate III

Gabriella manages the Illumina sequencing operations and contributes to all aspects of the genomic sequencing enterprise.  Every library barcode, concentration and quality control metric is carefully scrutinized by Gabriella, as she performs the complex task of setting up the sequencing runs to assure the highest quality results.  With prior experience running NGS operations at Perlegen Sciences and Pfizer, Gabriella has the depth of experience to get the jobs done right.


Jessica Kain, Research Engineering/Scientist Associate II

Coming soon


 Juili Kelvekar, Research Engineering/Scientist Associate II

Juili helps in managing Sanger sequencing as well as NextGen sequencing core and contributes to DNA/RNA library preparation, QA analysis, routine Sanger sequencing and maintaining Bio analyzers. She has a versatile background in nanotechnology and Biomedical engineering and worked on many complex research projects. Her prior experience involved synthesizing contrast agents for disease detection and for therapeutic drug delivery. She is very detailed oriented and like to work on different challenging projects.


Holly Stevenson, Research Engineering/Scientist Associate III

Holly is a PhD scientist with prior experience applying and tailoring genetic technologies to cancer research and clinical studies at the National Cancer Institute.  She joined GSAF in 2017 and has over 15 years of experience in molecular biology methods.  She currently aids customers by preparing a variety of DNA/RNA libraries, assists in operating our Illumina sequencers, and helps in testing and implementing new NGS services.