NHGRI selects Adam Phillippy as first director of new Center for Genomics and Data Science Research
Phillippy to provide scientific leadership and shape direction of computational genomics in institute’s Intramural Research Program.
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has selected Adam Phillippy, Ph.D. as the founding director of the new Center for Genomics and Data Science Research within the Institute’s Intramural Research Program. In this role, he will provide scientific and administrative leadership, foster a collaborative and inclusive research environment and provide mentorship for researchers within the Center.
Since joining NHGRI in 2015, Dr. Phillippy has been an investigator and head of the Genome Informatics Section, where his research group develops and uses computational methods to sequence and analyze genome sequences. As a key leader of the Telomere-to-Telomere Consortium, he played a pivotal role in generating the first truly complete human genome sequence, which revealed the presence of over 200 million additional bases of DNA. He is also a major contributor in the international Human Pangenome Reference Consortium, which published the first draft of a human pangenome, a more complete collection of genome sequences that captures more human diversity.
“Adam’s vision for our new Center will uniquely position NHGRI to lead the burgeoning computational genomics and data science fields,” said Charles Rotimi, Ph.D., Scientific Director of NHGRI’s Intramural Research Program. “Adam has established himself as an expert in genome sequence assembly and analysis not only within NIH but in the broader scientific community. I can’t think of anyone more qualified and ready for this role.”
Previously called the Computational and Statistical Genomics Branch, the Center for Genomics and Data Science Research represents a reconfiguration of the research program to meet current challenges and opportunities in using computational strategies to study human and other genomes. As a newly designated center, the program aims to eventually have collaborative connections with other NIH institutes and bring together a larger set of local experts.
Adam’s vision for our new Center will uniquely position NHGRI to lead the burgeoning computational genomics and data science fields. Adam has established himself as an expert in genome sequence assembly and analysis not only within NIH but in the broader scientific community. I can’t think of anyone more qualified and ready for this role.
The new Center will be developing and using cutting-edge computational approaches to analyze genome sequence data and conducting research in basic and applied genomics, comparative genomics, bioinformatics and genomic medicine. The newly established Center and its researchers are highly complementary with other components of NHGRI’s Intramural Research Program, further enhancing their collective and collaborative abilities to address a fundamental challenge in genomics: understanding how genomic variants affect genome function in giving rise to phenotype.
“As the genomics field becomes increasingly more data-intensive, the development of more powerful computational tools and technologies is necessary for making continued research advances,” said Dr. Phillippy. “I’m excited to lead this incredibly talented and interdisciplinary group of investigators as we bring new knowledge and approaches to genomics research and medicine.”
After graduating from Loyola University Maryland with a B.S. in computer science, Dr. Phillippy worked at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) before earning his M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to joining NIH, he worked at the National Bioforensic Analysis Center, where he founded and led a bioinformatics group that developed genomic methods and analyzed DNA sequence data for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Dr. Phillippy has authored and co-authored over 130 peer-reviewed research papers and scientific reviews. He has received numerous awards, including the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the NIH Director’s Award. He was also a finalist for the 2022 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal and was named one of the world’s most influential people of 2022 by TIME magazine for his work on completing the human genome sequence.
Dr. Phillippy will begin his appointment as Director of the Center for Genomics and Data Science Research in the near future.
Last updated: November 22, 2023