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Genomic Innovator Seminar Series

Event Details

Beginning September 2022, NHGRI will host a new seminar series based on its Genomic Innovator Award Program, which supports innovative work by early-career genomics investigators who are part of consortia or other team-science efforts.

Each seminar will focus on a specific topic of genomic research by pairing an early career researcher funded under NHGRI’s Genomic Innovator Award Program with a more senior researcher whose work relates to the research area, to provide additional context. Since these awards support highly innovative work by early career genomics investigators who are part of consortia or other team-science efforts, the series will highlight critical emerging topics in genomics. Attendees will learn about creative endeavors with great potential to accelerate research and have the chance to ask questions of some of the brightest minds in genomics.

Each seminar will include two speakers (each giving 20-minute talks) followed by a moderated Q&A session. The sessions, which will be held via Zoom for the foreseeable future, will be open to the public and video recorded for later viewing on the GenomeTV channel of YouTube.

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Zoom Webinar (Requires Registration)

Recorded Videos

Upcoming Seminars


Past Seminars

PRS for the PCP: Evaluating polygenic risk scoring in primary care with clinical trials

October 18, 2023, 3:00 - 4:15 p.m. ET


  • Katrina A.B. Goddard, Ph.D.
    Director, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
    National Cancer Institute

    Dr. Katrina Goddard was appointed Director of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences in October 2021. In this position, she oversees a division that covers a wide range of scientific domains and disciplines, including epidemiology, behavioral science, surveillance and statistics, cancer survivorship, and health services and outcomes research. Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Goddard was a Distinguished Investigator and Director of Translational and Applied Genomics at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, OR.  Dr. Goddard is a genetic epidemiologist who focuses on public health genomics and the translation of genomic applications into clinical practice. She has directed or collaborated on over 25 federally funded research studies and has held numerous leadership positions on national research consortia. Dr. Goddard has also contributed to knowledge synthesis products that have far-reaching impact for numerous national organizations.  Dr. Goddard received her PhD in biostatistics from the University of Washington and a BS in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
  • Jason L. Vassy, M.D., MPH, M.S.
    Associate Professor of Medicine; Clinician-Investigator; Founding Member of Precision Population Health
    Harvard Medical School; Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System and Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Ariadne Labs

    Dr. Jason Vassy is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a clinician-investigator at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a founding member of Precision Population Health at Ariadne Labs. He is a practicing primary care internist and researcher in the implementation and evaluation of genomic medicine interventions. For the last decade, he has directed the Genomes2Veterans Research Program at VA Boston, where his research examines the clinical utility of genetic and genomic testing in various primary care clinical contexts. Current projects include clinical trials of pharmacogenetic testing, polygenic risk scores, and return of unanticipated genetic results among participants of the Million Veteran Program. He is also a principal investigator for the VA All of Us Research Program. 

Data-driven approaches to define rare genetic diseases

March 23, 2023, 3:00 - 4:15 p.m. ET


  • Melissa Haendel, Ph.D., FACMI
    Chief Research Informatics Officer
    Marsico Endowed Chair in Data Science
    University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

    Dr. Melissa Haendel is the Chief Research Informatics Officer and Marsico Endowed Chair in Data Science at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus; the Director of the Center for Data to Health (CD2H); and the Principal Investigator of the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C). Her background is in molecular genetics and developmental biology as well as translational informatics, with a focus over the past decade on open science and semantic engineering. Dr. Haendel’s vision is to weave together healthcare systems, basic science research, and patient-generated data through development of data-integration technologies and innovative data capture strategies. Dr. Haendel’s research has focused on the integration of genotype-phenotype data to improve rare-disease diagnosis and mechanism discovery. She also leads and participates in international standards organizations to support improved data sharing and utility worldwide.
  • Jessica Chong, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Division of Genetic Medicine
    Department of Pediatrics
    University of Washington School of Medicine

    Jessica obtained her Ph.D. in human genetics at the University of Chicago, mentored by Carole Ober, where she studied genetic variants that cause common traits and rare diseases in a founder population. She then joined Michael Bamshad’s lab at the University of Washington, where she helped establish the University of Washington Center for Mendelian Genomics. From 2011 to 2020, the center contributed to the discovery of hundreds of genes associated with rare diseases using exome sequencing at scale. Dr. Chong recently started her own lab at the University of Washington, where she is co-investigator in the Genomics Research to Elucidate the Genetics of Rare Diseases (GREGoR) consortium.

    Dr. Chong is highly committed to encouraging open data sharing in science and especially in the rare disease genetics field. During her time at the Center for Mendelian Genomics program, she developed MyGene2, an award-winning web-based platform for publicly sharing genomic and phenotypic data used by families, clinicians and researchers. More recently, she helped launch and became deputy editor of the open access journal Human Genetics and Genomics Advances, published by the American Society of Human Genetics.

Playing genomic battleship with CRISPR technologies to uncover non-coding functional elements and their phenotypic effects

September 29, 2022, 3:00 - 4:15 p.m. ET



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This event will be presented with real-time captioning. American Sign Language interpreting services are available upon request. Individuals who need interpreting services and/or other reasonable accommodations to participate in this event should contact Britny Kish at britny.kish@nih.gov or the NIH Interpreting Office directly at nih@ainterpreting.com. Requests should be made at least five business days in advance in order to ensure interpreter availability.

Last updated: October 19, 2023