Contributor Spotlight


M.Sc. Data Scientist
Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias, National Institutes of Health; Laboratory of Neurogenetics, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health; Data Tecnica International LLC

Hampton Leonard is a data science consultant with NIA’s Laboratory of Neurogenetics and with Data Tecnica International.  Hampton has a special interest in the genomics of neurodegenerative disease and a bold approach to wrangling this complex data with statistical and machine learning methods.  The AMP PD team was fortunate to enlist Hampton’s aid at the start of the program’s sequencing efforts, because she played a major role in designing and conducting the extensive quality control analyses that were necessary to produce the whole genome sequencing data that we are so proud of.  Hampton also helped to highlight the AMP PD platform’s capabilities through a datathon she led and hosted.  We are grateful for her expert and careful work and are proud to feature her here as an AMP PD team member.

The AMP PD Team

What is your contribution to AMP PD?

I helped as part of a team with the quality control and preparation of the whole genome sequencing data, as well as helped curate resources and training opportunities for researchers new to AMP PD.

How did you become interested in research relating to Parkinson’s Disease?

I have always been fascinated with the brain, especially developmental and neurodegenerative disease. When I got the opportunity to join Mike Nalls and Andrew Singleton at the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at NIH, I jumped at the chance. I hadn't worked specifically in PD research before, but quickly became passionate about it as I was surrounded by high quality work and had the opportunity to meet people with PD through advocacy group collaborations. I hope to make even a small contribution to the progress of PD research and therapeutics.

What is your advice for scientists getting started with PD research?

Collaborate! My experience with the PD research community has been incredible in terms of the willingness to share data and expertise. Try to join a PD consortium or trainee community, not only will it increase the quality of your work, but working together can make research easier and faster.