Blake Andres, Executive Director
Blake has more than twenty years of experience leading community initiatives that leverage science and technology for the betterment of community. Blake has a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a masters in science education. Prior to his role at DDC Clinic, Blake served as Education Director then Vice President at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix and the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Health and biomedicine have always been a personal and professional focus.
Blake and his wife Karla, an occupational therapist, have two children and live in Chesterland. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, paddling, and biking in Northeast Ohio’s parks.
Karen Cechner, Lab General Supervisor
Karen began working in the Molecular Diagnostics Lab in March of 2012 – she has an impressive background in various labs and came highly recommended. Karen resides in Russell with her husband Ron.
Patti Gallagher, Business Manager
Patti joined DDC Clinic in order to use her business and financial background, as well as her personal family experience of having a brother with special needs, to help others. Patti’s diverse work experience includes office management at various organizations and finance at banking institutions.
Patti and her husband Jack live in Burton – when they aren’t traveling to someplace warm with a beach. They have four sons and are enjoying their grandchildren immensely.
Valerie Sency, Registered Nurse
Valerie’s career at DDC Clinic began in February of 2013 – her years of working in an urgent care and as a school nurse will serve her well at DDC Clinic. She resides in Madison with her husband Matthew and their 3 children.
Erica Stewart, Administrative Assistant
Erica joined DDC Clinic in September of 2012 - she has many years’ experience as an administrative assistant and is excited to be able to put those skills to work in such a special place. Erica lives in Orwell with her husband Jason and their two children Anthony and Camille. She loves reading, cooking and spending time with family and friends.
Julia Szekely, Laboratory Technician
Julia joined DDC Clinic in June of 2014- she is excited to utilize her background in Biotechnology as well as her love for helping others to serve the community. Julia currently resides in Madison where she enjoys eating out with friends, spending time at the beach, and symbolically adopting wildlife.
Heng Wang, M.D., PhD, Medical Director
Dr. Wang is a board certified pediatrician. In addition to his medical degree, he has a PhD in biochemistry, along with many years of research experience. As a physician scientist, Dr. Wang has been instrumental in all scientific discoveries in DDC Clinic, from description of new diseases and associated genes, to development of diagnostic and treatment protocols for many genetic conditions.
Dr. Wang and his wife Jian live in Orange with their two daughters. Between his busy practice with DDC Clinic, he enjoys practicing Tai Chi.
Christine Wensel, MS, LCGC, Genetic Counselor
Chris is the newest member of DDC Clinic and DDC Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory. She has many years of experience working with patients and their families in both Cleveland and Youngstown as a clinical genetic counselor. In the past few years, she has been working more directly with referring physicians and clinicians as a laboratory genetic counselor. Chris will use her clinical as well as her laboratory genetic counseling skills here at DDC. Chris and her husband Rick have 3 children and live in Hartford.
Baozhong (Bao) Xin, PhD, Research Scientist
Dr. Xin has a PhD in molecular biology and viral oncogenesis from the University of Hong Kong and he completed his post-doctoral fellowship with the Cancer Biology and Cancer Genetics Program at Case Western Reserve University.
The unique opportunity and challenge that DDC Clinic presents is what intrigues Dr. Xin most about working at DDC Clinic. While he is fascinated by the research, he also enjoys working closely with the community and our patients to translate the research into real-world answers and solutions.
In his spare time Dr. Xin enjoys family life with his wife Li and his two daughters, as well as music, traveling and sports. His co-workers enjoy teasing him about his love of eating!