George M. Church, Ph.D.
Chair, Gene Therapy SAB
George Church is a pioneer in the fields of genetics and synthetic biology. He is the director of PersonalGenomes.org, which provides open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental & Trait data (GET). His 1984 Ph.D. 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. In addition, 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 and synthetic biology and therapeutics. He has also pioneered new privacy, biosafety, ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI), environmental and biosecurity policies. He is director of an Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) BRAIN Project and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and received the Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has coauthored 590 papers, 155 patent publications and a book (Regenesis).