Our Team

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Inova Translational Medicine Institute Team

World-class scientists, doctors, research specialists and bioinformatics experts lead ITMI's pioneering research. Our team conducts pioneering genomic research studies and translates findings to help Inova doctors improve patient care – and ultimately make medical discoveries that will change the way we personalize and deliver healthcare.

Departmental Leadership

Lesley Anderson, MPIA, PMP
Director, Business Development

Lesley Anderson

Lesley Anderson, MPIA, PMP, leads the operational integration of Inova Genomics Laboratory testing within the Inova health system and beyond. She specializes in strategic initiatives, service expansion, process improvement and product development. Lesley has also led multiple clinical, operational, and education-related services for healthcare, and is especially interested in disruptive technologies such as genomics, AI, and big data.

Prior to joining Inova, Ms. Anderson supported the American Society for Radiation Oncology, directed operations and market growth for the National Resident Matching Program, and lastly worked at the Children’s Hospital Association where she oversaw information systems and quality improvement for more than a decade.

Aaron Black
Director, Informatics

Aaron Black, Inova Translational Medicine Institute

Aaron Black has more than 15 years of IT and business experience consolidating and managing large and complex data sets from disparate sources. He holds many certifications in both technical and project management.

At ITMI, he and his team are building a world-class bioinformatics infrastructure for the Institute's massive and varied data to support genomics research and clinical services – and ultimately for the purpose of translating genomics research for medical discoveries and improved patient care.

Previously Mr. Black was the informatics manager and leader for the Biospecimen Core Resource at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Genome Atlas project. He was co-architect for the flexible data model to store and access data from studies for more than 30 cancer subtypes and clinical data from biobanks and academic institutions across five continents.

Suchi Hourigan, MD
Director, Microbiome Research

Suchitra Hourigan, MD

Dr. Hourigan is a physician and scientist studying the role of the microbiome in human health and disease. She is also a practicing pediatric gastroenterologist and works with children of all ages with disorders of the intestines and nutrition, many of which have been associated with imbalances of the gut bacteria. Additionally, she conducts fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in children. Her dual role allows for full integration of clinical observation, clinical phenotyping and microbiome data to better understand the contribution of the microbiome in health and illness.

Previously Dr. Hourigan completed her medical training at the University of Oxford, and her pediatric residency and pediatric gastroenterology fellowship at Johns Hopkins.

Kathi Huddleston, PhD
Director, Clinical Research Projects

Kathi Huddleston, PhD

Dr. Huddleston brings 20 years' experience in pediatric research. Her expertise includes regulations, recruiting, development of research documentation, as well as clinical analysis and teambuilding with bioinformatics, genetics, clinical and EMR data acquisition.

At ITMI, Dr. Huddleston leads the clinical research staff and heads up all patient enrollment and consenting for ITMI studies.

Dr. Huddleston has a doctorate in nursing and health policy from George Mason University. She is a review editor for both the Journal of Emergency Nursing and the American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing. She has published in the areas of pediatrics and clinical research. 

Ramaswamy Iyer, PhD, FACMG
Director, Clinical Molecular Genetics and Biobanking

Ramaswamy Iyer, PhD, FACMG

Dr. Iyer has spent more than 25 years in the basic and applied research and clinical laboratory settings. He has directed the operations of CAP/CLIA-certified clinical diagnostic laboratories for more than 15 years, supporting both high-quality patient care and clinical research.

At ITMI, Dr. Iyer is responsible for the Institute's laboratory and biobank. He plays a significant role in developing the research and service infrastructure to support research and clinical activities at ITMI and throughout Inova. 

Dr. Iyer previously served at the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Genome Atlas as the program manager for its biorepositories. Prior to that, Dr. Iyer established a state-of-the-art esoteric genetic testing laboratory and an institute-wide biobank at the University of Michigan. Dr. Iyer helped to direct the Nationwide Children's Hospital clinical molecular genetics and cytogenetics and core laboratories, providing testing services for patient care and supporting the activities of the Children's oncology group.

He was trained in clinical molecular genetics and clinical cytogenetics at UCLA-Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles. He is board certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics and is a fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

Palak Shah, MD, MS, FACC
Director, Cardiovascular Genomic Studies, Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiologist

Palak Shah, MD, MS, FACC

Dr. Shah is a physician and scientist studying the development of genomic tools to better care for patients with advanced cardiomyopathies, mechanical circulatory support and cardiac transplantation. His dual role provides for full integration of clinical observations, clinical phenotyping and genomic data to better predict and manage heart failure.

Previously Dr. Shah received his advanced fellowship training in heart failure and cardiac transplantation at the University of Michigan. He also has a MS degree in clinical and translational research from George Washington University, an MD from St. George’s University, and a BS degree from Carnegie Mellon University. His residency was completed at Georgetown University where he also served as chief medical resident, followed by a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at George Washington University.

Natalie Hauser, MD
Medical Geneticist

Dr. Natalie Hauser

Natalie Hauser, MD is a board-certified medical geneticist, biochemical geneticist, and pediatrician. She became fascinated with ‘solving the mystery’ of unknown, unresolved patient medical problems while training to become a pediatrician and seeing an unexpected number of children with underlying medical problems with no known reason. Her training and specialization was cultivated at the NIH, University of Nebraska, and University of Texas.

At Inova, Natalie assists with medical problems that are unknown, unresolved, or family trend of a reoccurring problem. She relies on both the existing medical knowledge with genetic testing and on research to put all pieces of a patient’s issues together, as she seeks to unify all symptoms and medical issues into an underlying genetic defect. Natalie aims to help with as many unknown medical problems as possible and subsequently add to the scientific knowledge base of human genome, disease, and birth defects to help all of mankind. She actively trains and supervises clinical rotations for 8-10 medical students /year at the Inova Fairfax campus.

Contact us

For more information about our team, call us at 703-776-8199.