Preethi Gunaratne, Ph.D.
, Director Preethi Gunaratne

UH Department of Biology & Biochemistry (Professor)



As Director of University of Houston’s Sequencing & Gene Editing Core and Moores Professor within the Department of Biology & Biochemistry, Preethi Gunaratne also holds an adjunct appointment with Baylor College of Medicine’s Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center Human Genome Sequencing Center and is listed as an inventor/co-inventor on 7 US patents applications (3 issued, 4 in progress). She is a member of the International Human Genome Project (HGP) in which she contributed to the sequencing and annotation of Human Chromosomes 3, 12 & X and developed one of the first comprehensive functional genomics platforms to discover new druggable targets through microRNAs and microRNA-regulated transcriptomes for multiple diseases.

Kimberly Holloway, Ph.D., Research Lab Manager Kimberly Holloway

UH Department of Biology & Biochemistry

University of Houston Sequencing & Gene Editing Core Research Manager, Dr. Kimberly Holloway, is a molecular biologist with over a decade of experience in cancer-based proteomic and genomic research and close to two decades of experience in biological research. Under the mentorship of Drs. Kevin Pruitt and Yi Li, Dr. Holloway s doctoral and post-doctoral work characterized epigenetic and oncogenic regulation within breast cancer. Her research management background includes working alongside world-renowned breast cancer genetic oncologist, Dr. Matthew Ellis at Baylor College of Medicine s (BCM) Lester & Sue Smith Breast Center as Assistant Laboratory Director and providing technical expertise within BCM s Reverse Phase Protein Array (RPPA) core-based facility.

Jignesh Chandarana, M.S., Research Lab Manager Jignesh Chandarana

UH Department of Biology & Biochemistry

University of Houston and Gene & Editing Core Research Manager, Jignesh Chandarana, has 10+ years of experience in molecular biology research and clinical laboratory. As a Molecular Genetics Technologist and Automation Specialist with Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor Genetics and Quest Diagnostics, he worked on Whole Exome & Mitochondria sequencing and developed tests for carrier screens and PreSeek (NIPT) on Beckman and Tecan automation platforms. Jignesh’s skillset includes but is not limited to process engineering with MagBead automation using Lynx and Hamilton STAR system, instrument management, and database development.

Brandon Mistretta, Lead Scientist Brandon Mistretta

University of Houston Sequencing & Gene Editing Core Lead Scientist, Brandon Mistretta is a highly skilled third-year doctoral candidate with extensive experience in NEXT-generation sequencing.  Brandon brings 3 years of clinical laboratory practices and experience from his role as a Laboratory Technician III and researching inborn errors of metabolism at Baylor Genetics. During his doctoral training, he has acquired experience in library construction and sequencing for over 1000 RNAseq, 100 ChIP-seq, 100 Exome-seq, and 50 Single-cell RNAseq applications as well as bioinformatic analysis of gene expression data and Single-cell gene expression data. Brandon was also featured in Qiagen’s Attacking Cancer From All Angles Genomics Story.

Asha Palat, Doctoral Candidate Asha Palat

Mitchell Rao, System Administrator I Mitchell Rao

University of Houston Sequencing & Gene Editing Core System Administrator I is a skilled bio-informatician with extensive experience in multi-omic analytics. Mr. Rao has 8 years’ experience with analysis of clinical diagnostic arrays and has supporting authorship on multiple papers including 2 specifically for multi-omic analysis.

Craig Parker, Data Scientist Craig Parker