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Jason Merker, MD, PhD, is a co-director of the Biospecimens Core (Core B). He is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and of Genetics. He is Director of Cancer Molecular Pathology, Co-Director of the Translational Genomics Shared Resource, and co-PI of the NCI NCTN Integrated Translational Science Center at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. In addition, he serves as Director of Molecular Oncology and Associate Director of Molecular Pathology at UNC Hospitals McLendon Clinical Laboratories.

He is a practicing, board-certified molecular pathologist and clinical cytogeneticist with extensive experience in pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical aspects of genetic and genomic testing for germline and somatic indications. Merker is a physician-scientist focused on the development and application of new technologies and analysis approaches to improve clinical cancer genomics and precision cancer applications.

Prior to joining UNC, he was founding Co-Director of the Stanford Medicine Clinical Genomics Program where he oversaw the development of a CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited clinical and translational genomics laboratory performing genome, exome, and RNA sequencing. Through these various roles, he provides UNC TREND with significant hands-on expertise in all aspects of genomics testing – specimen handling and preparation, library preparation and sequencing, alignment, variant calling, annotation, variant filtering/prioritization, variant classification and report generation. He is nationally recognized for his expertise on the clinical implementation of cancer genomics testing, and he has served on NIH, FDA, CDC, American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, and the College of American Pathologist committees, panels and working groups focused on clinical genomic testing.

Jason Merker headshot