Julie Gastier-Foster

Dr. Julie Gastier-Foster is the Senior Director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine Clinical Laboratory and Vice Chair of Laboratory Genetics in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She is a Professor (Clinical) in the Departments of Pathology and Pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Gastier-Foster received her PhD in Genetics from Harvard Medical School, and completed her medical genetics training at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is board-certified in Clinical Cytogenetics and Clinical Molecular Genetics and has nearly 20 years’ experience overseeing CAP/CLIA-certified clinical genetics laboratories. Dr. Gastier-Foster also has significant translational research funding to support the integration of genetic/genomic testing into clinical trials and promote biobanking and tumor processing for new research discoveries. She is responsible for the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Molecular Reference Laboratories and the COG and SWOG Leukemia Banks. She serves as the Principal Investigator for the COG reference laboratories, providing real time clinical testing for risk-based stratification of COG patients and also works with tumor committees to incorporate new clinical biomarkers. Dr. Gastier-Foster has utilized her biorepository and tumor processing expertise as the Principal Investigator of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center for Cancer Genomics Biospecimen Core Resource (BCR) since 2009. The BCR is responsible for tumor pathology review and processing for large scale genomics projects such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and subsequent projects.

Elodie Ghedin

Elodie Ghedin, PhD, Professor of Biology and Global Public Health, is a member of the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology at New York University. Her laboratory uses comparative genomics, evolutionary biology, and systems biology techniques to generate critical insight about host-pathogen interactions. Prof. Ghedin studies microbial and viral population structures, and how these impact host response to infection and emerging infectious diseases. Her research has recently focused on characterizing influenza virus diversity within and across infected hosts and the interactions of microbes in the respiratory tract to better understand the dynamics of viral transmission and evolution.

Prof. Ghedin received her BS in Biology and PhD in Molecular Parasitology from McGill University, and a MS in Environmental Sciences from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She was a postdoctorate fellow at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH before joining the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR; now the J. Craig Venter Institute) where she initiated the Virus Genomics group and led the Influenza Genome Sequencing Project funded by NIAID. She joined the NYU faculty in April 2014, following 8 years at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In 2011, citing the creativity and collaborative nature of her work, and her contributions to parasitology and virology, Dr. Ghedin was recognized as a fellow by the MacArthur Foundation. In 2012, she was also named a Kavli Frontier of Science Fellow.

Geoffrey S. Ginsburg

Dr. Ginsburg is the founding director for the Center for Applied Genomics & Precision Medicine at the Duke University Medical Center and for MEDx, a partnership between the Schools of Medicine and Engineering to spark and translate innovation.  His research addresses the challenges for translating genomic information into medical practice and the integration of precision medicine into healthcare.

He is a member of the Advisory Council to the Director of NIH and is co-chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Genomic and Precision Health and is co-chair of the Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative.  He has recently served as a member of the Board of External Experts for the NHLBI, the advisory council for the National Center for Accelerating Translational Science, and the World Economics Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of the Health Sector.

Gonçalo Abecasis

Felix E. Moore, Collegiate Professor of Biostatistics and chair of the Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan School of Public Health, is a leader in genetic analysis of complex human traits. His team has developed statistical methods, computational algorithms and software that facilitate quick, accurate analysis of genetic studies of human disease. His studies enable a better understanding of human genetic variation and its role in disease biology. Abecasis has made important contributions to understanding conditions as diverse as heart disease, diabetes, psoriasis, macular degeneration. Ongoing projects include the sequencing and analysis of >50,000 deep human genomes – an unprecedented amount of data. Abecasis leads the University’s Biostatistics department, which is training a new generation of scientists and making contributions to the statistical and computational machinery for the analysis of diverse types of biomedical data – including not only genomic data but also electronic health records, registry data and health surveys, a variety of imaging data types, and environmental exposures, among others.

Ido Imit

Ido Imit, PhD is a Professor at the Immunology Department at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His lab develops novel single cell genomic and epigenomic methods to characterize the immune system and develop new targets for immunotherapy. Among others, he is a recipient of the 2015 EMBO Gold Medal award for his work to reveal the function of the immune system.

Leif Andersson

Leif Andersson, PhD is professor at Uppsala University, guest professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and visiting professor at Texas A&M University. He has been working on comparative genomics using domestic animals as study objects the last 30 years. The work has focused on domestic animals as models for phenotypic evolution and resulted in a steady stream of interesting findings on genotype-phenotype relationships. In recent years the research program has been expanded to include natural populations such as the Darwin’s finches, ruff and Atlantic herring because of the exciting opportunities opened up by the development of new sequencing technologies.

Daniel De Carvalho

Daniel De Carvalho, PhD  holds the Helen M Cooke Professorship in Cancer Epigenetics, is a Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and Assistant Professor at the Dept. of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto. Dr. De Carvalho earned his PhD in Immunology from University of São Paulo in 2009 and did his postdoctoral training in Cancer epigenetics at University of Southern California (USC) at Dr. Peter Jones group from 2010 until 2012.  His research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms driving epigenetic reprogramming in cancer and on translational aspects of cancer epigenetic therapy. De Carvalho is interested in the potential to use epigenetic therapy to improve immunotherapy in cancer and in using DNA methylation profiling of cell free DNA as a biomarker for cancer early detection and for response to therapy.  Nature Medicine highlighted Dr. De Carvalho work as one of the top 10 notable advances in 2015 and by Canadian Cancer Society as one of the Top 10 Research Impact Stories of 2015. Cell, Nature Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, and the Wall Street Journal wrote editorials about his work, highlighting the potential to improve immunotherapy using epigenetic therapy.

Stirling Churchman

Stirling Churchman, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Using high-resolution quantitative approaches, her laboratory investigates how gene expression is regulated from both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Dr. Churchman majored in physics at Cornell University and obtained her doctorate in physics from Stanford University in 2008. She was a postdoctoral fellow with Jonathan Weissman at University of California, San Francisco. There she developed an approach, native elongation transcript sequencing, NET-seq, that directly visualizes global transcriptional activity through mapping RNA polymerase density genome-wide with single-nucleotide resolution. Dr. Churchman joined the Genetics Department at Harvard Medical School as an Assistant Professor in 2011. She is also an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Dr. Churchman received the Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (2011), a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface (2011-2016) and was named a New Scholar in Aging by the Ellison Medical Foundation (2013-2017).

William Greenleaf

William Greenleaf, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University. He received his AB in Physics from Harvard, his PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford, and carried out postdoctoral research in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard. His lab is interested in leveraging new sequencing methods and technologies to understand the physical genome. He is investigating both how the genome is packaged, protected, sequestered, and made accessible within the cell nucleus, as well as how changes in DNA sequence relates changes in structure and function of encoded biological macromolecules.

Nada Jabado

Nada Jabado, MD, PhD is Professor of the Department of Pediatrics Education/Training at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center,.  She established her Research Program as a PI in 2003 to study brain tumors, the leading cause of cancer related mortality and morbidity in the pediatric years. She is a clinician-scientist who leads a lab comprised of 6 postdoctoral and clinical fellows, 6 graduate students and 5 research assistants/associates. Her main focus is pediatric and young adult astrocytomas, a deadly group of brain tumors. Her group uncovered that pediatric high-grade astrocytomas (HGA) are molecularly and genetically distinct from adult tumors.They also identified a new molecular mechanism driving pediatric HGA, namely recurrent somatic driver mutations in the tail of histone 3 variants (H3.3 and H3.1). These mutations lead to amino acid substitutions at key residues and are tightly correlated with a distinct global DNA methylation pattern, neuroanatomical locations and age specificities. They aim to identify events affected downstream of each mutation, and validate targets in new models to better advise the use of experimental or pipeline drug(s) or drug combinations that could be rapidly translated into clinical trials. Ultimately, based on their findings, patients could be stratified based on their genetic/molecular signature, and assigned to a beneficial therapeutic strategy, bringing needed effective interventions in this devastating cancer. Additionally, they established a TCGA-like initiative by creating the International CHildhood Astrocytoma INtegrated Genomic and Epigenomic (ICHANGE) Consortium. They say, this is a unique set of resources, which enables the scientific world to investigate astrocytomas in children. It includes databases and access to technology as well as international collaborations from 15 participating countries, including ~1500 annotated glioma tissue samples representative of all grades and ages.