The research interests of Matthew J. Ferber, Ph.D., are centered on clinical molecular genetics. Specifically, Dr. Ferber is interested in the development of clinical genome sequencing and of the software tools required to aid in reviewing and returning results to patients. He is also interested in hereditary cancer syndromes, including breast, ovarian and colon cancers, and Wilson's disease.
As the director of Mayo's Clinical Genome Sequencing Laboratory in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Dr. Ferber leads a team of co-directors and laboratory staff focused on developing genomic applications to improve patient care. To this end, he and his team work to optimize laboratory workflows and integrate novel decision-supporting software to streamline the data review and interpretation process.
Dr. Ferber also serves as the director of business development for Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine.
- Clinical Genome Sequencing Laboratory. The goal of the Clinical Genome Sequencing Laboratory is to serve as the technology warehouse that provides Mayo Clinic with access to cutting-edge clinical genome sequencing capabilities in a single, high-quality and efficient environment.
- Business development: Center for Individualized Medicine. In the complex world of large-scale genomics, it's no longer sufficient for even large and well-equipped centers to do all of the needed work alone. Now more than ever, partnership is a required and desirable strategy for reaching the goals for the Center for Individualized Medicine. Dr. Ferber and colleagues look for partnership opportunities in the genomics space that help the center deliver on its strategic goals. They partner with both large, well-established companies and new startup opportunities.
- Development of a unified clinical genomics database (ClinGen). Dr. Ferber is a subcontracted principal investigator on a pilot project aimed at creating an internationally curated, publically available genotype database of clinical quality to be used in the routine interpretation of patient genotyping data. Mayo Clinic is serving as a pilot project lead for compiling data on hereditary colon cancer. The project is funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute.
Significance to patient care
The overall goal of Dr. Ferber's research is to create access to DNA sequencing technology that provides patients and their health care providers with a wealth of data to efficiently make well-informed, personalized decisions about treatments and other clinical options.
- Co-chair, Hereditary Cancer Genetics working group, ClinGen, 2013-present
- Director, Clinical Genome Sequencing Laboratory, Mayo Clinic, 2012-present
- Member, Next-Generation Sequencing: Standardization of Clinical Testing working group, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011-present