World’s preeminent genomics meeting returns to Marco Island in February 2020 

St. Louis, MO (September 20, 2019) – In 2020, Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) will mark its 20th anniversary. AGBT convenes one of the world’s most revered genome science and technology conferences, bringing together top global researchers, leaders, and innovators. The next AGBT General Meeting will be held February 23-26, 2020, in Marco Island, Florida.

“We are honored to be joined by so many great minds each year, but our 20th anniversary is particularly special,” said Richard Wilson, founding Executive Director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and a Co-Founder of AGBT.

 “Building on the astounding advancements since our inaugural meeting, we remain laser focused on cutting-edge genome sequencing and analysis technology to discover clues that will lead to more effective diagnosis and treatment of disease.”  Wilson added, “In recognition of 20 years of AGBT, we are bringing together pioneering legends from the Human Genome Project as well as innovators and trailblazers currently at the forefront of this life-changing, life-saving work.”

Speakers this year include, among others: 

  • Catherine Ball, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer for AncestryDNA, LLC. Dr. Ball joined Ancestry in 2011 as Vice President of Genomics and Bioinformatics, helping to establish the company’s approach to genetic genealogy. Her career has focused on helping people around the world understand and use their own genomic data. Dr. Ball has collaborated on the annotation of the first sequenced eukaryotic genome and has collaboratively built databases to explore the genomes of yeast, E.coli and the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. As a pioneer in data analysis resources for high-throughput biomedical technologies, she led the Stanford Microarray Database, the largest academic database of its kind. 
  • Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009, Dr. Collins oversees the work of the largest supporter in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research. He is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. Dr. Collins was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007 and received the National Medal of Science in 2009.
  • Jennifer Fogarty, Ph.D., NASA Human Research Program (HRP) Chief Scientist. Dr. Fogarty provides oversight of an extensive research portfolio, addressing solutions to risks to enable human exploration of space. Before taking on this leadership role in the HRP, Jennifer was the Translational Scientist for NASA’s Space and Clinical Operations Division in the Human Health and Performance Directorate. She is currently on the editorial team for the Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine (5th edition), regularly lectures on space physiology, and has continued interacting with the research and technology development community through NASA’s Human Health and Performance Center and the Human Research Program.
  • Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D., biotechnology pioneer. Dr. Hood developed the first gas phase protein sequencer, for determining the amino acids that make up a given protein; a DNA synthesizer to synthesize short sections of DNA; a peptide synthesizer to combine amino acids into longer peptides and short proteins; and the first automated DNA sequencer to identify the order of nucleotides in DNA. Dr. Hood also established the first cross-disciplinary biology department at the University of Washington. He is credited with introducing the term “systems biology,” and Scientific American counted him among the 10 most influential people in the field of biotechnology in 2015.
  • Rick Myers, Ph.D., President and Science Director of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Under Dr. Myers’ direction, the Stanford Human Genome Center (with the Joint Genome Institute) contributed more than 10 percent of the data in the public Human Genome Project’s efforts to sequence the human genome. At HudsonAlpha, Dr. Myers provides strategic oversight, including sustaining a large, active laboratory. The lab sequences whole genomes, whole exomes, and targeted regions of the genome. Researchers in the Myers Lab integrate these functional genomics, epigenetic and genetic data to understand how genomes are involved in brain disorders, ALS, cancer, children born with developmental disorders, autoimmune diseases, and other traits.
  • Barbara Rae-Venter, J.D., Ph.D, a retired intellectual property attorney who specialized in the patenting of biotechnology inventions. Dr. Rae-Venter is a Search Angel with, helping adoptees find their birth relatives. She also developed a technique to solve many previously “unsolvable” cases, including the identification of Joseph James DeAngelo, the Golden State Killer. In 2018, Dr. Rae-Venter was listed in Nature as one of “10 People Who Matter in Science”; this year she is honored as one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People.”
  • Richard K. Wilson, Ph.D., founding Executive Director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. In 1990, Dr. Wilson joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine where he co-founded the Genome Sequencing Center/McDonnell Genome Institute. He and his colleagues sequenced the first animal genome and contributed substantially to the sequencing and analysis of the human genome. In 2016, Dr. Wilson moved to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and launched the Institute for Genomic Medicine. Their mission is to utilize cutting-edge genome sequencing and analysis technology to discover clues that will lead to more effective diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other human diseases in children and adults.
  • Barbara Wold, Ph.D., is the Bren Professor of Molecular Biology and Director of the Beckman Institute at Caltech. Dr. Wold began working on genome structure and gene regulation during embryo development for her Ph.D. thesis at Caltech, and developed ways to assay cis-regulatory element function during postdoctoral work at Columbia. She joined the biology faculty at Caltech in 1981, where she and her colleagues have focused on learning the architecture and logic of gene networks that drive cell state transitions. They study skeletal muscle development, degeneration and regeneration as a favored model system. Recent work emphasizes new ways to quantitatively map the inputs and outputs of gene networks in a genome-wide manner using “next generation” ultra-high throughput DNA sequencing, and applying these methods to muscle and brain networks.

As a recognized cornerstone for the genomics research community, AGBT provides an outstanding forum for exchanging information about the latest advances in DNA sequencing technologies, experimental and analytical approaches for genomic studies, and their myriad applications. The call for abstracts is now open at, with a final closing date of September 30. 

In addition to seeking abstract submissions, AGBT is now welcoming sponsors for the 2020 meeting. Since 1999, AGBT has been the most sought-after venue in which to showcase companies and products to a focused audience composed of top global leaders, visionaries, and decision makers. For further information, please email For more information about the 2020 General Meeting, please visit


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