R. Fabian W. Pease, Ph.D.
Scientific Advisor

Dr. Pease is the William Ayer Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. His group’s area of research includes micro- and nano-fabrication and their application to electronic and magnetic devices and structures. This work has included the original demonstration of lithography with the scanning tunneling microscope, exploration of the limits of resolution of deep ultraviolet lithography, the invention of the micro-channel heat sink and development of non-conventional electron beam technology for semiconductor manufacturing.

On sabbatical in 1993 and 1994, Dr. Pease conducted research on the synthesis of DNA microarrays at Affymetrix. From 1996 to 1998, he was assigned to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency where he initiated programs in Advanced Microelectronics and Molecular-Level Printing. He has served as a consultant to IBM, Xerox, Etec Systems, and Lawrence Livermore Labs and is on the Technical Advisory Boards of Ultratech Stepper, San Jose, CA and Affymetrix, Santa Clara, CA.

Jeremy Edwards, Ph.D.
Scientific Advisor

Professor Jeremy Edwards has a remarkable record of achievement in quantitative systems biology. He obtained his PhD (1999) in Bioengineering at UC San Diego, mentored by Prof. Bernhard Palsson. Dr. Edwards is first author on a number of seminal papers in the field of metabolic network analysis. Following a postdoc in the Church Lab at Harvard University and a faculty position at the University of Delaware, Dr. Edwards moved back to his home town of Albuquerque to join the University of New Mexico (UNM) where he serves as co-director of mathematical modeling at the New Mexico Center for Spatio-Temporal Modeling of Cell Signaling (STMC). The STMC, one of a few NIH-NIGMS funded Centers for Systems Biology, brings together a set of world-class experimental labs and modelers dedicated to the spatio-temporal aspects of cell signaling. Dr. Edwards is also a member of the NCI-designated Cancer Center affiliated with UNM.

In addition to his work in mathematical modeling, Prof. Edwards is a major figure in next generation DNA sequencing, where his lab holds several patents. He is the main author of the method of polymerase colony sequencing and is the principal investigator on a large NIH grant aimed at developing the “$1000 genome”.

Hongyu Zhao, Ph.D.
Scientific Advisor

Dr. Zhao is the Ira V. Hiscock Professor of Biostatistics, Professor of Statistics and Genetics, Chair of the Biostatistics Department and Co-Director of Graduate Studies of the Inter-Departmental Program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at Yale University. He received his BS in Probability and Statistics from Peking University in 1990 and his PhD in Statistics from UC Berkeley in 1995. His research interests include the applications of statistical methods in molecular biology, genetics, drug development, and personalized medicine.

Some of his recent projects include large scale genome-wide studies to identify genetic variants underlying complex diseases (schizophrenia, bipolar, autism, and substance abuse), biological network modeling and analysis, disease biomarker identification through proteomics, genome annotations, microbiome analysis, and systems biology study of herbal medicine. Dr. Zhao has published over 340 articles in statistics, human genetics, bioinformatics, and proteomics, and has edited two books on human genetics analysis and statistical genomics. He has trained over 70 doctoral and post-doctoral students, many of whom are holding tenured or tenure-track positions at major universities in the United States and overseas.

Dr. Zhao is Co-Editor of Statistics in Biosciences and serves on the editorial boards of several leading statistics and genetics journals. He was the recipient of the Mortimer Spiegelman Award, given to the top statistician in health statistics under the age of 40 by the American Public Health Association. Dr. Zhao has also received the Evelyn Fix Memorial Medal and Citation presented by UC Berkeley and a Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Award presented by the March of Dimes Foundation, and was elected to the fellowship of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association, and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.

Pui-Yan Kwok, M.D., Ph.D.
Scientific Advisor

Dr. Kwok is Professor of Dermatology at UCSF and a leading expert in the analysis of complex genetic traits. His primary research goal is to develop tools for the genetic analysis of whole genomes and to apply these tools to elucidate the genetic factors associated with common human traits. Dr. Kwok and his team are actively involved in three areas of research including the development of single DNA molecule analysis methods for use in whole genome mapping and haplotype identification in diploid individuals, the application of genetic tools to discover genetic factors associated with complex human traits, and the identification of ethnicity-linked genetic variants that affect drug response and cause adverse reactions. Current projects include but are not limited to: studies of genetic susceptibility to psoriasis, narcolepsy, systemic lupus erythematosus, hemorrhagic risk in brain arteriovenous malformations, and sudden cardiac arrest; identification of functional variants in genes affecting drug response; and the search for genetic determinants of longevity.

Hua Tang, Ph.D.
Scientific Advisor

Dr. Tang is an Associate Professor of Genetics at Stanford University. Research in Dr. Tang’s laboratory is focused on the development and application of statistical methods for the analysis of patterns of human genetic variation, which underlie the phenotypic diversity of our species. They are collaborating on various genome-wide studies of stratified or recently admixed populations. These studies offer unique opportunities to elucidate the evolutionary forces that have shaped the patterns of genetic variation in humans, to uncover the genetic basis of complex traits, and to shed light on the mechanisms that lead to diverse phenotypes and disparate disease risks among populations.

Dr. Tang received her AB from Harvard University and Radcliffe College, Biology (1997) and her PhD from Stanford University, Statistics (minor Genetics) (2002).

Chris Somerville, Ph.D.
Scientific Advisor

Dr. Somerville is Director of the Energy Biosciences Institute and Chair of the Institute’s Executive Committee. At the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Somerville is the Philomathia Professor of Alternative Energy and a member of the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. His research focuses on the characterization of proteins implicated in plant cell-wall synthesis and modification. He has published more than 200 scientific papers in plant and microbial genetics, genomics, biochemistry and biotechnology. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London, and the Royal Society of Canada.

Mike Zwick, Ph.D.
Scientific Advisor

Dr. Zwick uses cutting-edge genomics technologies to identify rare genetic variants that contribute to common pediatric disorders. His main areas of interest include population biology and genomics, human disease gene mapping, methods of targeted enrichment, and software tool development. Disease areas under study include autism, congenital heart defects in Down syndrome, early-onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and juvenile arthritis. Mike has developed open source software to aid in DNA analysis. He is currently an Associate Professor of Genetics at Emory University, the Scientific Director of the Emory Integrated Genomics Core (EIGC), and a member of the Autism Sequencing Consortium.

Dr. Zwick completed his undergraduate work at Cornell, graduate work in population genetics at UC Davis, and postdoctoral work at Case Western and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

William Greenleaf, Ph.D.
Scientific Adviser

William Greenleaf, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Genetics Department at Stanford University School of Medicine, with a courtesy appointment in the Applied Physics Department. He is a member of Bio-X, the Biophysics Program, the Biomedical Informatics Program, and the Cancer Center. He received an A.B. in Physics from Harvard University in 2002, and received a Gates Fellowship to study computer science at Trinity College, Cambridge, UK. He completed his Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Stanford in the laboratory of Steven Block, where he investigated the chemo-mechanics of RNA polymerase and the folding of RNA transcripts at the single molecule level. Dr. Greenleaf completed postdoctoral work in the laboratory of X. Sunney Xie in the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department at Harvard University where he developed new fluorescence-based high-throughput sequencing methodologies and was awarded a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Fellowship. In 2011 he joined the Genetics Department at Stanford University and was named a Rita Allen Foundation Young Scholar and a Baxter Foundation Scholar. His highly interdisciplinary research links molecular biology, computer science, and bioengineering, to understand how the physical state of the human genome controls gene regulation and biological state. His long-term goal is to unlock an understanding of the physical regulome, the factors that control how genetic information is read into biological instructions, profoundly impacting our understanding of how cells maintain or fail to maintain their state in health and disease.

Thane Kreiner, Ph.D.
Business Strategy Adviser

Thane Kreiner, PhD, is Executive Director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University. Thane was previously Founder, President, and CEO of PhyloTech, Inc. (now Second Genome), which conducts comprehensive microbial community analysis for human health applications. He was Founder, President, and CEO of Presage Biosciences, Inc., a Seattle-based company dedicated to bringing better cancer drugs to market. Dr. Kreiner was the start-up President and CEO for iZumi Bio, Inc. (now iPierian), a regenerative medicine venture based on the break-through iPSc (induced pluripotent stem cell) technology.

Prior to his efforts as a ”serial entrepreneur”, Thane spent 14 years in various senior leadership roles at Affymetrix, Inc., which pioneered the DNA chip industry. Thane currently serves on the Board of Directors for the BioBricks Foundation and as a Board member for Didimi, Inc.. Thane earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, his Ph.D. in Neurosciences from Stanford University School of Medicine, and his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Texas, Austin.

Vern Norviel, J.D.
Business Strategy Adviser

Vern Norviel is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he leads the patents and innovation counseling practice. Vern has three decades of experience in formulating successful strategies for life science companies and the development of their IP programs. He represents a wide variety of companies, as well as venture capital firms, in areas such as therapeutics, diagnostics, nanotechnology, genomics, proteomics, and personalized medicine. In fact, Vern’s interest in the field of personalized medicine prompted him to become the first attorney to have had his or her entire genome sequenced and made available in a public database.

Before joining the firm in 2003, Vern was the general counsel and corporate secretary of Perlegen Sciences, Inc., a start-up biotechnology company that scans the entire human genome for important therapeutic and diagnostic products. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Affymetrix, the biotechnology company that pioneered and developed DNA chip technology. Vern had also been a partner at Townsend and Townsend and Crew in Palo Alto.

During his career, Vern has authored or prosecuted more than 20 patents that have been litigated in the United States and abroad, and has overseen intellectual property lawsuits throughout the world.

Vern currently serves as a member of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s Compensation Committee and on the board of the WSGR Foundation, and previously served as a member of the Policy Committee. In addition, he is a lecturer in biotechnology law at UC Berkeley School of Law.