SENS6 Speaker Highlight: Dr. George Church

Posted by Daniel Kimbel on June 27, 2013 | Outreach

The SENS6 conference’s keynote address will be delivered by Dr. George Church, a researcher widely considered a luminary in modern biotechnology with over 300 publications to date.

Dr. Church finished his undergraduate work at Duke, then earned his PhD from Harvard in 1984. As a graduate student, he co-developed the world’s first direct method for genomic sequencing. He went on to become an early employee at Biogen, but by 1986 had moved to a faculty position at Harvard Medical School. In addition to his role as Professor of Genetics there, Dr. Church is now serving as Director of the school’s NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science and of the U.S. Department of Energy Center on Bioenergy.

Dr. Church may be best known for his key role in the Human Genome Project, which he helped initiate and drive. His genomic sequencing innovations have led him to be involved with most of the companies in that field, either as a co-founder, advisor, or provider of licensed technology. More recently, he has developed multiplex automated genetic engineering, or MAGE, a technology that speeds up the work of mutating an organism’s genome. He has also helped launch the recently-announced BRAIN Initiative, a US government-funded effort to develop innovative neurotechnologies to measure and modulate millions of neurons at once. Finally, Dr. Church has founded the Personal Genome Project, the world's only open-access resource for "precision medicine" data and cells with international branches each aiming for 100,000 participants.

At SENS6, Dr. Church’s presentation will address his cutting-edge work on bringing CRISPR-associated systems, an adaptive immune defense of some single-celled organisms that uses short strands of RNA, to human cells. He will also discuss the latest sequencing technologies, and the need to supplement genomic information with environmental and trait data.

The SENS6 conference will be held from September 3-7, 2013, at Queens’ College, Cambridge, UK. Register today to secure your spot, and enjoy Dr. Church’s keynote lecture in person.