Large-Scale Genome Sequencing Program Telebriefing Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011
Larry J. Thompson, M.S., M.F.A., is chief of the Communications and Public Liaison Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). His team manages media relations and creates a wide range of communications products, including websites, multimedia presentations and scientific videos. Prior to joining NHGRI, he co-founded the Washington Post's Health section and the Science and Medicine section of the San Jose Mercury News. He holds an M.S. in molecular biology from Lehigh University and an M.F.A. in film and electronic media from American University.
Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D., is the National Human Genome Research Institute director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a position he has held since late 2009. NHGRI is the largest organization in the world dedicated to genomics research. Previously, Dr. Green was the NHGRI scientific director, chief of the NHGRI Genome Technology Branch and director of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center. His own research focuses on using large-scale DNA sequencing to address important problems in genomics, genetics and biomedicine. Dr. Green received his B.S. degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Washington University in St. Louis.
Mark Guyer, Ph.D., NHGRI deputy director and director of the Division of Extramural Research, oversees the entire NHGRI extramural program, which administers research and training grants and cooperative agreements, and plans a wide range of scientific activities to advance genomics, including the study of the ethical, legal and social implications of advances in genomics and genetics. Dr. Guyer has been associated with scientific administration of the Human Genome Project since its inception at the NIH. He first served as a staff liaison to the planning process when he was a Program Director at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), and then was one of the initial staff when the Office of Human Genome Research was established in 1988. He has served in many capacities during the evolution of the agency from office through center to institute status, and has participated in all phases of the NHGRI's scientific activities, from sequencing through Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Research. Among his primary activities was the development of the NHGRI's series of five-year plans for the HGP in the United States, in 1990, 1993, 1998 and 2003. Dr. Guyer received his Ph.D. in bacteriology and immunology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974.
Adam Felsenfeld, Ph.D., is NHGRI program director for the Large-Scale Sequencing Program. For the last several years, Dr. Felsenfeld has been involved in selecting new sequencing targets for the NHGRI large scale sequencing centers in the areas of medical and organismal sequencing. In addition, he is engaged in contributing to the program's overall strategic planning and management. He earned a Ph.D. of Developmental Genetics from the University of Oregon.
Dr. Brad Ozenberger administrates The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) program, a large joint effort of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Cancer Institute to generate comprehensive catalogs of genetic aberrations underlying cancer. This ambitious program is analyzing hundreds of cancer specimens each month, characterizing mRNA/miRNA expression and DNA methylation, in addition to genomic sequencing and conducting broad integrative analyses of the genomic and clinical data sets. In addition to his responsibilities coordinating the daily operations of TCGA, Dr. Ozenberger is a co-director of the Medical Sequencing Program and holds the position of Program Director for Technology Development, overseeing a grant portfolio supporting research on the innovative instrumentation and methods that enable today's advances in genomics. Dr. Ozenberger also is involved in the development of NIH policy relating to protection of research participant privacy and data access. Prior to joining NHGRI in 2003, Dr. Ozenberger was a Senior Investigator and Team Leader at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Princeton, N.J.
Dr. Heidi Sofia joined the Division of Extramural Research in 2010, and is part of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) team responsible for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), jointly managed with the National Cancer Institute. The TCGA project is designed to set the foundation for understanding cancer as a genomic disease, by characterizing mutation, copy number, and structural variation across many tumor types, in the context of gene expression, epigenetic regulation, and impact on cellular networks. Dr. Sofia contributes to oversight of data analysis, bioinformatics and computational aspects of the project. Dr. Sofia also manages a portfolio of grants in informatics tools for next-generation sequencing, and participates in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund initiative on biomedical computing, serving as the lead science officer for one of the national centers. Prior to joining NHGRI, Dr. Sofia worked in genome projects and as a computational biologist for ten years at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), one of the Department of Energy (DOE) science labs, in genomic analysis, information visualization and novel toolkit development for biology. She contributed to research in information management, cyberinfrastructure, and data-intensive and high-performance computing through the novel features of driving biological problems. Dr. Sofia received a B.A. in biochemistry and Masters of Public Health from Univerisity of California Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and was a National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) GenBank Fellow.
Dr. Lu Wang's main responsibility at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is to administer the large-scale sequencing program in the areas of Mendelian disorders, pathogens and vectors of infectious diseases, comparative genome evolution, and medical sequencing. Prior to joining the NHGRI in 2006, she led the development and commercialization of a number of FDA 510(k)-cleared molecular products serving tissue/organ transplant diagnostics and immunogenetics research in general. Dr. Wang serves on a number of NIH and external committees that coordinate or oversee rare disease gene discovery, organism-specific databases, or access to publically available genomic and phenotypic data. She is the author or coauthor of a number of research and review articles on transcriptional regulation, as well as on molecular diagnostic assay development. Dr. Wang holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in genetics, and a Ph.D. in microbiology. She received her postdoctoral training at The Rockefeller University studying the transcriptional regulation of B-lymphocyte development.