The Human Genome:
A Decade of Discovery, Creating a Healthy Future

Speaker Biographies

Monday, June 7, 2010

Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H Street NW
Farragut Square and Lafayette Park Rooms
Washington D.C., 20001

Biographies are arranged in order of appearance on the workshop agenda.

Eric Green

Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., is director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), acting scientific director of the NHGRI Division of Intramural Research and senior investigator in the Genome Technology Branch. Dr. Green's research program focuses on the application of large-scale DNA sequencing to studying problems in human genomics, genetics, and biology. He has a fundamental interest in applying contemporary genomic technologies to diverse areas of biomedical research. All of Dr. Green's research projects are performed in partnership with NIH Intramural Sequencing Center. He earned an M.D. and a Ph.D. in cell biology from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.


Francis Collins

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health, is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project. He served as director of NHGRI from 1993-2008. Dr. Collins' own research laboratory has discovered a number of important genes, including those responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington's disease, a familial endocrine cancer syndrome, and most recently, genes for type 2 diabetes and the gene that causes Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. He holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Yale University and an M.D. with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Mark Guyer

Mark Guyer, Ph.D., is director of the NHGRI Division of Extramural Research and is the Institute's acting deputy director. Dr. Guyer is responsible for overseeing 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. He earned a Ph.D. in bacteriology and immunology from the University of California, Berkeley.


Adam Felsenfeld

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.


Elise Feingold

Elise A. Feingold, Ph.D., is NHGRI program director for Genome Analysis. She leads the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) and the related project in model organisms (modENCODE) to identify all of the functional elements in the human, and the D. melanogaster and C. elegans genomes, respectively. Dr. Feingold's area of focus has been on gene discovery, gene expression and functional genomics. She holds a doctorate in human genetics from Yale University.



Jane Peterson

Jane Peterson, Ph.D., is an associate director of the Division of Extramural Research of the NHGRI. Dr. Peterson plays an important role in the administration of NHGRI extramural activities and is involved in NHGRI's sequencing program, the Cancer Genome Atlas project and the Knockout Mouse Project. She coordinates the Human Microbiome Program.  She earned her Ph.D. in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from the University of Colorado.


Lisa Brooks

Lisa D. Brooks, Ph.D., is NHGRI Program Director for the Genetic Variation Program. She oversees NHGRI's component of the 1000 Genomes Project, and oversaw the HapMap Project. She manages grants related to genetic variation in humans and model organisms, including the discovery of variation and the development of analysis methods that relate variation to health and disease.  Dr. Brooks received a Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University.


Aravinda Chakravarti

Aravinda Chakravarti, Ph.D., is a professor of medicine, pediatrics, and molecular biology and genetics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a professor of biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is a member of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine where he uses molecular genetic, genomic and computational methods to identify and study genes involved in complex human diseases including cardiovascular disease and mental illness. He earned a Ph.D. in human genetics from the University of Texas.


Andrew Feinberg

Andrew P. Feinberg, M.D., M.P.H., is a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He also is the director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences Center for Epigenetics. His research focuses on using state-of-the-art microarray chips to detect methylation of genes and epigenetic changes implicated in human diseases including autism and cancer. He earned an M.D. and M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University.


Jeffery Schloss

Jeffery A. Schloss, Ph.D., is NHGRI program director for Technology Development Coordination. He leads the NGHRI DNA technology program and coordinates the Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science program. He also co-chairs the Nanomedicine Common Fund program and represents NIH to the trans-agency National Nanotechnology Initiative. He earned his Ph.D. in cell biology from Carnegie Mellon University.


Vivien Bonazzi

Vivien Bonazzi, Ph.D., is NHGRI program director for Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science, the Human Microbiome Project and the Knock-out Mouse Project. Her focus is on bioinformatics issues that confront researchers working with genomic data and she administers many of the large genomic database grants as well as bioinformatics tool grants.  Dr. Bonazzi earned her Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology from the University of Melbourne, Australia.


Jim Mullikin

Jim Mullikin, Ph.D., is acting director of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center and associate investigator in the NHGRI Genome Technology Branch. Dr. Mullikin develops and utilizes computer programs to analyze large data sets generated by systematic DNA sequencing projects. A computational geneticist, he collaborates extensively with biomedical researchers, analyzing data produced by others or that are available in public databases. Dr. Mullikin's group is currently preparing for a flood of new data that will be produced by "next-generation" DNA sequencers. Dr. Mullikin holds a Ph.D. in physics (image and signal processing) from Delft University of Technology, Holland.


Sharon Terry

Sharon F. Terry is president and CEO of the Genetic Alliance and founding executive director of PXE International, a research advocacy organization for the genetic condition pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE). She serves on major governmental advisory committees on medical research, including the HIT Standards Committee for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, liaison to the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders and Genetic Diseases in Newborns and Children and the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research, NHGRI, NIH. She received an honorary doctorate from Iona College for her work in community engagement and haplotype mapping and has recently been named an Ashoka Fellow.


Teri Manolio

Teri Manolio, M.D., Ph.D., is director of the NHGRI Office of Population Genomics and senior advisor to the NHGRI director for population genomics. At the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Dr. Manolio was heavily involved in large-scale cohort studies such as the Cardiovascular Health Study and the Framingham Heart Study. She joined NHGRI in 2005 to lead efforts in applying genomic technologies to population research, including the Genes and Environment Initiative, the Electronic Medical Records and Genetics Network, and the NHGRI Genome-Wide Association Catalog. She maintains an active appointment on the in-patient medical service of the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. and is professor of medicine at the University Services University of the Health Sciences. Dr. Manolio received an M.D. from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in human genetics/genetic epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University.


Charles Rotimi

Charles N. Rotimi, Ph.D., is director of the NIH Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health and senior investigator in the NHGRI Inherited Disease Research Branch. Dr. Rotimi has been extensively involved in a number of genetic epidemiology projects that are being conducted in several African countries and in the United States. These projects have included the Africa America Diabetes Mellitus (AADM) study, the Howard University Family Study, the Genetics of Obesity in Blacks Study, and the Engagement of African Communities for the International HapMap Project. He holds a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


Leslie Biesecker

Leslie G. Biesecker, M.D., is chief and senior investigator of the NHGRI Genetic Disease Research Branch. Dr. Biesecker's research focuses on the clinical and molecular delineation of human malformation syndromes. Currently, his laboratory is working on two classes of disorders: classic multiple congenital anomaly syndromes and segmental overgrowth disorders. He is principal investigator of the ClinSeq, a large-scale medical sequencing clinical research study that aims to demonstrate the feasibility of interpreting large amounts of genomic sequence data and return individual results to subjects. He holds an M.D. from the University of Illinois College of Medicine.


Bradley Ozenberger

Bradley A. Ozenberger, Ph.D., is NHGRI program director for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), a large joint effort of NHGRI and the National Cancer Institute to generate comprehensive catalogs of genetic aberrations underlying cancer, and for technology development, where he oversees several grant programs supporting research on the innovative instrumentation and methods that enable today's remarkable advances in genomics. Dr. Ozenberger also is a co-director of the NHGRI Medical Sequencing program.  He holds a Ph.D. in medical microbiology from the University of Missouri.


William Gahl

William A. Gahl, M.D., Ph.D., is NHGRI clinical director and senior investigator of the Medical Genetics Branch. Dr. Gahl studies rare inborn errors of metabolism through the observation and treatment of patients in the clinic and through biochemical, molecular biological, and cell biological investigations in the laboratory. His group focuses on a number of disorders, including cystinosis, Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome, alkaptonuria, and sialic acid diseases. He also serves as director of the NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program. He received an M.D. and a Ph.D. in oncology from the University of Wisconsin Medicine School.


Christopher Austin

Christopher P. Austin, M.D., is associate investigator in the NHGRI Genome Technology Branch and director of the NIH Chemical Genomics Center. In addition, he serves as senior advisor to the NHGRI director for translational research. He is responsible for conceptualizing and implementing programs to derive biologic insights and therapeutic benefits from the newly completed human genome sequence. One of these initiatives is an ambitious program in chemical genomics, which will bring the power and diversity of small molecule chemistry and informatics to the determination of gene function. He holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.


Joan Scott

Joan A. Scott. M.S., C.G.C., is director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center and a research scientist in the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University. She leads the center's efforts to address legal, ethical, and policy issues related to advances in genetics, genetic testing quality and oversight, and public engagement in genetic research. Ms. Scott is a certified genetic counselor with more than 30 years experience and holds an M.S. in human genetics from Sarah Lawrence College.


Suzanne O'Neill

Suzanne O'Neill, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Cancer Control Program of Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University. Her research program focuses on genomic applications to health. Her past research has examined emotional and behavioral outcomes among women receiving BRCA1/2 testing. Currently, her research involves examining the impact of novel genomic methods used to determine risk for breast cancer recurrence on treatment decision making and quality of life outcomes, as well as examining methods to effectively communicate genetic risk information relevant to common, complex disease. Dr. O'Neill received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Delaware.


Laura Lyman Rodriguez

Laura Lyman Rodriguez, Ph.D., is acting director of the NHGRI Office of Policy, Communications and Education and senior advisor to the NHGRI director for Research Policy. She helps to develop and implement policy for NHGRI initiatives, and trans- NIH programs such as the Genetic Association Information Network. Dr. Rodriguez is particularly interested in the policy and ethics questions related to the inclusion of human research participants in genomics and genetics research. She holds a Ph.D. in cell biology from Baylor College of Medicine.


Larry Thompson

Larry J. Thompson, M.S., M.F.A. , is chief of the NHGRI Communications and Public Liaison Branch. His team manages media relations and creates a wide range of communications products, including Web sites, multimedia presentations and documentaries. He co-founded the Washington Post's Health section and the Science and Medicine section of the San Jose Mercury News. He holds a M.S. in molecular biology from Lehigh University and a M.F.A. in film and electronic media from American University.

Last updated: September 23, 2015