Schedule and Speakers

The seminar format will be an hour lecture followed by 30 minutes of moderated Q&A.

Series Schedule






Evan Eichler, PhD
Professor, Genome Sciences at University of Washington
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute


12 - 1 pm


Kenneth Lange, PhD
Professor, Computational Genomics, Biomathematics, Human Genetics, and Statistics at UCLA School of Medicine

Davis Auditorium

1 - 3 pm


Trey Ideker, PhD
Professor, Bioengineering and Medicine
Division Chief, Medical Genetics at University of California, San Diego

Hatch Auditorium

1 - 3 pm


Mark Gerstein, PhD
Professor, Biomedical Informatics, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and Computer Science at Yale University

Davis Auditorium

1 - 3 pm


Daniel MacArthur, PhD
Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School
Co-director, Medical and Population Genetics at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

Davis Auditorium

12 - 1 pm

Speaker Bios

The speakers in our Genomics, Big Data and Medicine series represent many of the leading organizations and institutions in the field.

Professor, Genetics at Harvard Medical School

George Church, PhD, is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of, which provides the world's only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental and Trait data (GET). His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing, and barcoding. These led to the first genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994. His innovations have contributed to nearly all "next generation" genome sequencing methods and companies (CGI, Life, Illumina, nanopore). This plus chip-based DNA synthesis and stem cell engineering resulted in founding additional application-based companies spanning fields of medical diagnostics (Knome, Alacris, AbVitro, Pathogenica) and synthetic biology/therapeutics (Joule, Gen9, Editas, Egenesis, enEvolv, WarpDrive).

He also serves as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Excellence in Genomic Science at Harvard and has pioneered new privacy, biosafety, environmental, and biosecurity policies. His honors include election to National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has coauthored 370 papers, 60 patents, and one book (Regenesis).

Director, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Eric D. Green, MD, PhD, is responsible for providing overall leadership of the National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) research portfolio and other initiatives; this requires significant coordination with other NIH components, funding agencies, and research organizations. In 2011, Dr. Green led NHGRI to the completion of a strategic planning process that yielded a new vision for the future of genomics research, entitled Charting a course for genomic medicine from base pairs to bedside (Nature 470:204-213, 2011).

Professor and Chair, Quantitative Genetics at the University of Queensland
Senior Principal Research Fellow, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Peter Visscher's undergraduate studies were in the Netherlands. He moved to Edinburgh, United Kingdom, in 1987 for an MSc and subsequent PhD in animal breeding and genetics, working on the estimation of genetic parameters in large livestock pedigrees. A postdoctoral period in Melbourne, Australia was followed by a return to Edinburgh, where he developed methods to map genetic loci underlying complex traits. In 1995, he moved to a faculty position at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology of the University of Edinburgh, developing gene mapping methods and software tools, with practical applications in livestock and human populations. Dr. Visscher joined the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane in 2005 and in 2011 moved to the University of Queensland where he is Professor and Chair of Quantitative Genetics and Director of the Centre for Neurogenetics and Statistical Genomics. Dr. Visscher is a Senior Principal Research Fellow of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2010. His research interests are focused on a better understanding of genetic variation for complex traits, including quantitative traits and disease, and on systems genomics.

Robert E. and Louise F. Dunn Distinguished Professor of Medicine Professor of Genetics and Molecular Microbiology
Co-director, The Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine

Elaine R. Mardis, PhD, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. degree in zoology. She then completed her PhD in Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1989, also at the University of Oklahoma. Following graduation, Dr. Mardis was a senior research scientist for four years at BioRad Laboratories in Hercules, California.

In 1993, Dr. Mardis joined The Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine. As Director of Technology Development, she helped create methods and automation pipelines for sequencing the Human Genome. She now serves as Co-director of The Genome Institute. Dr. Mardis has research interests in the application of next-generation sequencing to characterize cancer genomes and transcriptomes, and using these data to support therapeutic decision-making. She also is interested in facilitating the translation of basic science discoveries about human disease into the clinical setting.

Dr. Mardis serves as an editorial board member of Molecular Cancer Research, Disease Models and Mechanisms and Annals of Oncology, and acts as a reviewer for Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine, Cell and Genome Research. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Case Studies. In 2014, Dr. Mardis was named as the Robert E. and Louise F. Dunn Distinguished Professor of Medicine. She serves on the scientific advisory boards of Qiagen Ingenuity, DNA Nexus, and ZS Genetics, and is a member of the Supervisory Board of Qiagen N.V. Dr. Mardis received the Scripps Translational Research award for her work on cancer genomics in 2010, and was named a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences for 2011. Discover Magazine featured her work in cancer genomics as one of their top 100 science stories in 2013.

Director, Scripps Translational Science Institute
Chief Academic Officer, Scripps Health
Professor of Genomics, The Scripps Research Institute

Eric Topol, MD, is a Professor of Genomics at the Scripps Research Institute, the Chief Academic Officer for Scripps Health, and the Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI). Voted as the #1 Most Influential Physician Executive in the United States in a national poll conducted by Modern Healthcare, Dr. Topol works on genomic and wireless digital innovative technologies to reshape the future of medicine. He is a practicing cardiologist at Scripps in La Jolla, California and widely credited for leading the Cleveland Clinic to become the #1 center for heart care. While there he also started a new medical school, led many worldwide clinical trials to advance care for patients with heart disease, and spearheaded the discovery of multiple genes that increase susceptibility for heart attacks. Since 2006, in La Jolla, he leads the flagship NIH grant supported STSI. He has published 1,100 peer-reviewed articles, more than 165,000 citations, was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, named in GQ Magazine as one of the Rock Stars of Science, and is one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine (Thomson Reuters, "Doctor of the Decade"). He is also Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. His bestseller book The Creative Destruction of Medicine (Basic Books) was published in 2012, and The Patient Will See You Now was published in January 2015.

National Director for Patients and Information, National Health Service, England

Tim Kelsey is National Director for Patients and Information in NHS England, a role which combines the functions of chief technology and information officer with responsibility for patient and public participation. He took up the post in 2012 after serving as the British government's first Executive Director of Transparency and Open Data. He is also National Information Director for health and care in England and Chair of the National Information Board, which advises the Secretary of State on national priorities for data and technology.

He is a leading advocate of a popular knowledge revolution in our public services and, in 2000, was co-founder of Dr Foster, a company which pioneered publication of patient outcomes in healthcare. He is also an internationally regarded expert in thinking differently about how digital and social media can transform the customer experience in public services. In 2007, he launched NHS Choices, the national online health information service ( which now reports around 40 million users per month. In 2014 he was named one of the 500 most influential people in U.K. by Sunday Times. Before Dr Foster, he was a national newspaper journalist and a television reporter. He worked for the Independent and the Sunday Times, as well as Channel 4 and the BBC. Follow him on twitter @tkelsey1. You might like to read the National Information Board's Framework for Action: Personalised Health and Care 2020: how data and technology can transform outcomes for patients and citizens.

GBM 2015 Speakers

Eric D. Green, MD, PhD
Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH

George Church, PhD
Professor, Genetics at Harvard Medical School

Peter Visscher, PhD
Professor and Chair, Quantitative Genetics at the University of Queensland
Senior Principal Research Fellow, NHMRC

Elaine R. Mardis, PhD
Co-Director, The Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine

Tim Kelsey
National Director for Patients and Information, NHS England

Eric J. Topol, MD
Director, Scripps Translational Science Institute