George Church

Professor of Genetics, Harvard University

George is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and director of the Personal Genome Project, which provides the world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental & trait data (GET). His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing and barcoding. These led to the first genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994.

His innovations have contributed to nearly all “next generation” DNA sequencing methods and companies (CGI-BGI, Life, Illumina, Nanopore). This plus his lab’s work on chip-DNA-synthesis, gene editing and stem cell engineering resulted in founding additional application-based companies spanning fields of medical diagnostics (Knome/PierianDx, Alacris, AbVitro/Juno, Genos, Veritas Genetics) and synthetic biology / therapeutics (Joule, Gen9, Editas, Egenesis, enEvolv, WarpDrive). He has also pioneered new privacy, biosafety, ELSI, environmental and biosecurity policies. He is director of an IARPA BRAIN Project and NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science.

His honors include election to NAS and NAE and Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has co-authored 453 papers, 105 patent publications and one book, Regenesis (co-authored with Ed Regis).