Advisory Board

PAUL BILLINGS, M.D., PH.D.

Dr. Paul Billings serves as Chief Medical Officer at Omicia. Prior to joining Omicia, Dr. Billings was CMO at Life Technologies, acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (NYSE: TMO). Before that he was founding and acting Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the Genomic Medicine Institute at El Camino Hospital. Dr. Billings served as President, CEO and Director of CELLective Dx Corporation.Dr. Billings currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the FDA, the Genomic Medicine Advisory Committee at the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, and the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Genomics. He was Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of General Medicine at the Palo Alto VA Healthcare System and Stanford Medical School, and then CMO and Deputy Network Director of VISN 17 in the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has been Professor of Anthropology (adjunct) at UC Berkeley and has published extensively on topics in immunology, genetics and medicine. Dr. Billings received an A.B. summa cum laude from UC San Diego, and both his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University.

 


PAUL FLICEK, PH.D.

Dr. Flicek is the team Leader, Vertebrate Genomics, at the EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge, UK. He leads the EBI portion of the ENSEMBL project and also EBI’s variation resources including the EGA (European Genome-Phenome Archive) project. Dr. Flicek’s research focuses on computational models for genome annotation and evolution and he has played a role in a number of international scientific consortia including the ENCODE project and the mouse, chicken, and platypus genome projects. He is an Honorary Faculty of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, where he has worked since 2001 on aspects of genome annotation and comparative genomics, initially with sequencing of the mouse genome and more recently across vertebrate evolution. In addition, he works closely on international large-scale Consortia projects such as the 1000 Genomes. Paul graduated from Drake University in 1993 with a BS (Manga cum laude) in Physics and worked as a health physicist before moving to Washington University in St. Louis, where he completed MSc degrees in both Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science en route to a DSc focused on computational biology. He arrived at the EBI in 2005 to do postdoctoral research with Ewan Birney and became a member of the EMBL faculty in 2007.

 


GEOFFREY S. GINSBURG, M.D., PH.D.

Dr. Ginsburg is the founding director for Genomic Medicine in the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy and the founding executive director of the Center for Personalized and Precision Medicine in the Duke University Health System. He is a professor of Medicine, Pathology, and Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. He is an internationally recognized expert in genomics and personalized medicine with funding from NIH, DOD, Air Force, DARPA, the Gates Foundation, and industry. Prior to Duke he was at Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc where he was vice president of Molecular and Personalized Medicine and responsible for developing pharmacogenomic and biomarker strategies for therapeutics. He serves as an expert panel member for Genome Canada, as a member of the Board of External Experts for the NHLBI, as Co-Chair of the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Genome-Based Research to Human Health, as a member of the advisory council for the National Center for Accelerating Translational Science, as co-Chair of the Cures Acceleration Network, as an Advisor to the Pharmacogenetics Research Network, and as a member of the World Economics Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Personalized and Precision Health Care.

 


LEROY HOOD, M.D., PH.D.

Dr. Hood is the president of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle. He is a pioneer in the systems approach to biology and medicine. His research has focused on the study of molecular immunology, biotechnology and genomics. Dr. Hood’s professional career began at Caltech, where he and his colleagues developed the DNA gene sequencer and synthesizer and the protein synthesizer and sequencer––four instruments that paved the way for the successful mapping of the human genome. A pillar in the biotechnology field, Dr. Hood has played a role in founding more than fourteen biotechnology companies, including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Darwin, The Accelerator and Integrated Diagnostics. He is a member of the National Academy of 
Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. His work has been widely published, and he has coauthored numerous textbooks in biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology and genetics, as well as a popular book on the human genome project, The Code of Codes. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lasker Award for Studies of Immune Diversity, the Kyoto Prize in advanced technology, the Heinz Award for pioneering work in Systems Biology, and most recently, the coveted NAE 2011 Fritz J. and Delores H. Russ Prize for automating DNA sequencing that revolutionized biomedicine and forensic science. Dr. Hood has published more than 700 peer-reviewed articles and currently holds 36 patents. Dr. Hood holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a MD from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

 


PUI-YAN KWOK, M.D., PH.D.

Dr. Kwok is a Professor of Dermatology and the H. Bachrach Distinguished Professor in Cardiovascular Genetics at the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to joining the faculty at UCSF, he was a professor at the Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Kwok is a recognized leader in the analysis of complex genetic traits through the large-scale discovery and analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), new genotyping technologies, and the application of genomics in the study of human disease.

 


THOMAS QUERTERMOUS, M.D.

Dr. Quertermous is currently the William G. Irwin Professor of Medicine and Director of the Research in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University. He completed clinical training in cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and research training in molecular genetics in the Department of Genetics at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Quertermous established an independent laboratory in the Cardiac Unit at the Mass General in 1987. He was recruited to Vanderbilt University in 1991 as Chief of Cardiology and Professor of Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. Dr. Quertermous moved to Stanford University in 1997 where he assumed leadership of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Research in the Quertermous laboratory has employed genetic approaches for the study of vascular disease as a primary focus. Currently, research studies employ large-scale human genetics efforts to better understand the genetic basis of atherosclerosis and related risk factors such as hypertension and insulin resistance. Ongoing efforts include genome-wide association studies in multiethnic cohorts with coronary heart disease, and these efforts are integrated with other worldwide efforts aimed at conducting definitive association based analyses. Variation identified through these studies is further investigated at the molecular level to better understand the basic mechanisms of atherosclerotic heart disease.

 


JAMES SCOTT, MSc, MB BS, FRCP, FIBiol, FMedSci, FRS

Professor Scott is currently Professor of Medicine and Cardiovascular Medicine at Imperial College London. He qualified in medicine at the Royal London Hospital in 1971. He was previously Chief of Academic Medicine and of NHS clinical service, Chief of Cardiology and Head of Molecular Medicine at The Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital. He was founder and first Head of The institute of Genetics and Genomics and founder of the Bioinformatics Centre at Imperial College London. He previously worked at the University of California San Francisco Medical Centre. Professor Scott has received prizes from The Royal College of Physicians London, Glaxo Smith Kline, and Bristol Myers Squibb. He is Fellow of The Royal College of Physicians London. He was a founder member of the Academy of Medical Sciences, member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, a Chartered Biologist and Fellow of the Institute of Biology. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (The UK National Academy of Sciences). He is distinguished for the discovery of the totally novel mechanism of nucleic acid editing, a process concerned with cholesterol transport, antibody formation, protection against HIV and stem cell programming. Professor Scott has discovered common genetic variation causing dyslipidaemia, heart disease and obesity. Current interests concern genetic and epigenetic mechanisms and systems biology studies in cardiovascular and metabolic disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, and preventive medicine. He has a particular interest in health and wellbeing in society, and longevity, through life-style and appetite control and motivation-based programmes, allied with biomarker and genetic prediction. This leads to a unifying approach for prediction, prevention and treatment of metabolic (obesity, insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), cardiovascular disease (atherosclerosis and heart failure) and Alzheimer’s disease. A major interest is clinical trials and biomarker and drug discovery to diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s disease.

 


JOHN WITTE, PH.D.

Dr. Witte is Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the Head of the Division of Genetic and Cancer Epidemiology, Associate Director of the Institute for Human Genetics, and Leader of the Cancer Genetics Program. He is an internationally recognized expert in statistical genetics and genetic epidemiology. His research program encompasses a synthesis of methodological and applied genetic epidemiology, with the overall aim of deciphering the mechanisms underlying complex diseases and traits. He has developed extensive, widely-used methods and software for studying rare genetic variants, pathways, interactions, and genome-wide association studies. He is applying these methods to studies of cancer (e.g., of the prostate), birth defects, and pharmacogenomics. Current projects in his lab include developing Bayesian methods for effectively evaluating pleiotropy, determining the germline and somatic basis of prostate cancer risk and aggressiveness, and detecting genes that impact drug / treatment response. He obtained a BS in Math, MS in Engineering and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of California. He then did a post-doc in Biostatistics, and was a tenured faculty in Genetic Epidemiology at Case Western Reserve University before moving to UCSF. His research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, Urologic Research Foundation, and the Benioff-Goldberg Program in Prostate Cancer Translational Biology.

 


MARK YANDELL, PH.D.

Mark Yandell, PhD has led software development groups in both industry and academia. A Post-doc at the Human Genome Project at Washington University, St. Louis, he was a co-developer of the widely commercially licensed PolyBayes package, the first probabilistic algorithm for sequence variant discovery. Thereafter, he joined Celera Genomics, where he directed the group that wrote much of the software used to annotate and analyze the Drosophila, Human, Mouse, and mosquito genomes. From 2001-2005 he was a senior scientist for HHMI, where he led a comparative genomics group at the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project. Since 2005, he has been faculty in the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, University of Utah. Dr. Yandell is an internationally recognized expert in software for comparative and functional genomics. He has served on the Scientific Advisory Boards of numerous genome projects. He is Director of the Eccles Institute’s Bioinformatics program, and frequent guest lecturer in CSHL courses on genomics, programming and sequence analysis. He is also co-author of the O’Reilly Book on BLAST. Current projects in his laboratory include an NSF program grant for annotation of plant genomes; NIGMS support for genomics-based venom studies using the cone snail Conus bullatus; and support from the NHGRI and NIGMS for VAAST, a probabilistic disease gene finder for personal genome sequences. Dr. Yandell is technical director of the Utah Genome Project (UGP), an intramural, multi-million dollar effort to improve patient care and facilitate research on undiagnosed diseases. Dr. Yandell is Professor of Human Genetics, Co-director of the USTAR Center for Genetic Discovery, and H.A. and Edna Benning Presidential Endowed Chair at the University of Utah.