George Church

George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for Computational Genetics. With degrees from Duke University in Chemistry and Zoology, he co-authored research on 3D-software & RNA structure with Sung-Hou Kim. His Ph.D. from Harvard in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology with Wally Gilbert included the first direct genomic sequencing method in 1984; initiating the Human Genome Project then as a Research Scientist at newly-formed Biogen Inc. and a Monsanto Life Sciences Research Fellow at UCSF with Gail Martin. He invented the broadly-applied concepts of molecular multiplexing and tags, homologous recombination methods, and array DNA synthesizers. Technology transfer of automated sequencing & software to Genome Therapeutics Corp. resulted in the first commercial genome sequence (the human pathogen, H. pylori, 1994). This multiplex solid-phase sequencing evolved into polonies (1999), ABI-SOLiD (2005) & open-source Polonator.org (2007) and Personal Genomes.org. He has served in advisory roles for 12 journals (including Nature Molecular Systems Biology), 5 granting agencies and 24 biotech companies (e.g. 23andme & recently founding Codon Devices, Knome and LS9). Current research focuses on integrating biosystems-modeling with Personal Genomics & synthetic biology.