Scientific Advisory Board

Frances H. Arnold, PhD
Frances H. Arnold

Frances H. Arnold is the Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology. She pioneered the ‘directed evolution’ of proteins, mimicking Darwinian evolution in the laboratory to create new biological molecules. Her methods of laboratory evolution and structure-guided recombination are used widely in industry and basic science to engineer proteins with new and useful properties. Arnold received her B.S. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University and a PhD in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley. Among numerous honors, she was inducted into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame (2014), and received the ENI Prize in Renewable Energy (2013), the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011), and the Draper Prize of the National Academy of Engineering (2011).

She has been elected to membership in all three US National Academies, of Science, Medicine, and Engineering, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among other activities, she chairs the Advisory Panel of the Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering and serves as a judge for the Queen Elizabeth Prize in Engineering. Arnold holds more than 45 US patents.

George M. Church, PhD
George M. Church

George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of, 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 & barcoding. These led to the first genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994. His innovations have contributed to nearly all “next generation” genome sequencing methods and companies (CGI, Life, Illumina, nanopore). This plus chip-based DNA synthesis and stem cell engineering resulted in founding additional application-based companies spanning fields of medical diagnostics (Knome, Alacris, AbVitro, Pathogenica) & synthetic biology / therapeutics (Joule, Gen9, Editas, Egenesis, enEvolv, WarpDrive).

He has also pioneered new privacy, biosafety, environmental & biosecurity policies. He is director of NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to NAS & NAE & Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has coauthored 370 papers, 60 patents & one book (Regenesis).

Jim Heath, PhD
Jim Heath

Jim Heath is the Elizabeth Gilloon Professor and Professor of Chemistry at Caltech, and Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA. He has directed the National Cancer Institute funded NSB Cancer Center since 2005. He received his Ph.D. in 1988 from Rice University where he was the principle graduate student involved in the discovery of C60 and the fullerenes. He was a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley before joining the research staff at IBM Watson Labs in 1991. He took a faculty position at UCLA in 1994, and moved to Caltech in 2003. He has received several awards, including the Irving Weinstein Award from the American Association of Cancer Researchers, and the Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences.

He has founded or cofounded several companies, including Integrated Diagnostics, Indi Molecular, Sofie Biosciences, and NanoSys. He was named by Forbes in 2009 as one of the top 7 innovators in the world.

Lee Hood, Co-founder and Chair of the Board, MD, PhD
Lee Hood
Co-founder and Chair of the Board, MD, PhD

Lee Hood, MD, PhD, is a pioneer in the systems approach to biology and medicine. His research has focused on molecular immunology, biotechnology, and genomics. Dr. Hood began his career at Caltech, where he and his colleagues developed the DNA gene sequencer and synthesizer and the protein synthesizer and sequencer, which paved the way for mapping the human genome. A pillar in the biotechnology field, Dr. Hood has played a role in founding more than fourteen biotechnology companies, including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Darwin, and Integrated Diagnostics.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. He is also a member of the American Philosophical Society and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has coauthored numerous textbooks in biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology, and genetics, as well as a popular book on the Human Genome Project, The Code of Codes. Dr. Hood is the recipient of the Lasker Award for Studies of Immune Diversity, the Kyoto Prize in advanced technology, the Heinz Award for pioneering work in Systems Biology, and the coveted NAE 2011 Fritz J. and Delores H. Russ Prize. He has received 17 honorary degrees, has published more than 700 peer-reviewed articles, and currently holds 36 patents. In 2011, he received the National Medal of Science.

Ed Lazowska, PhD
Ed Lazowska

Ed Lazowska holds the Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, where he also serves as the Founding Director of the University of Washington eScience Institute. Lazowska received his A.B. from Brown University and his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. His research and teaching concern the design, implementation, and analysis of high performance computing and communication systems, and, more recently, the techniques and technologies of data-intensive discovery.

Lazowska is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. A long-time advocate for increasing participation in the field, he serves on the Executive Advisory Council of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, and on the National Research Council’s Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. He has been a member of the Technical Advisory Board for Microsoft Research since its inception, and serves as a board member or technical advisor for a number of high-tech companies, venture firms, and technology-oriented civic organizations.

Gilbert S. Omenn, MD, PhD
Gilbert S. Omenn

Gilbert Omenn is the Harold T. Shapiro Distinguished University Professor of Internal Medicine, Human Genetics, and Public Health and Director of the Center for Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan. He served as Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and as Chief Executive Officer of the University of Michigan Health System from 1997 to 2002. He was Dean of the School of Public Health, and Professor of Medicine and Environmental Health, University of Washington, Seattle, 1982-1997. His research interests include cancer proteomics, chemoprevention of cancers, public health genetics, science-based risk analysis, and health policy. He was a director of Amgen Inc. and Rohm & Haas Company, and now of Esperion, Galectin, and Oncofusion Therapeutics, plus the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the Center for Public Integrity.

Dr. Omenn leads the Human Proteome Project for the international Human Proteome Organization. He was President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2006. He is an elected member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Association of American Physicians, and American College of Physicians. He chaired the presidential/congressional Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Management (“Omenn Commission”), served on the National Commission on the Environment, and chaired the NAS/NAE/IOM Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy. He received the John W. Gardner Legacy of Leadership Award from the White House Fellows Association in 2004; the Walsh McDermott Medal from the Institute of Medicine in 2008 for long-term contributions to the IOM and the National Academy of Sciences; and in 2013 the David E. Rogers Award from AAMC for major contributions to health and health care in America.

Larry Smarr, PhD
Larry Smarr

Larry Smarr is the founding Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a UC San Diego/UC Irvine partnership, and holds the Harry E. Gruber professorship in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) of UCSDOs Jacobs School of Engineering. Before that he was the founding director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, as well as a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2006 he received the IEEE Computer Society Tsutomu Kanai Award for his lifetime achievements in distributed computing systems. He is a member of the DOE ESnet Policy Board.

He served on the NASA Advisory Council to 4 NASA Administrators, was chair of the NSF Advisory Committee on Cyberinfrastructure for the last 3 years, and for 8 years he was a member of the NIH Advisory Committee to the NIH Director, serving 3 directors. He was PI of the NSF OptIPuter project and of the Moore Foundation CAMERA global microbial metagenomics computational repository. You can follow him on his life-streaming portal at

Ralph Snyderman, PhD
Ralph Snyderman

Ralph Snyderman, MD served as Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine at Duke University from 1989 to July 2004 and led the transition of this excellent medical center into an internationally recognized leader of academic medicine. He oversaw the development of the Duke University Health System, one of the most successful integrated academic health systems in the country, and served as its first President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Snyderman has played a leading role in the conception and development of personalized health care, an evolving model of national health care delivery. He was amongst the first to envision and articulate the need to move the current focus of health care from the treatment of disease-events to personalized, predictive, preventive, and participatory care that is focused on the patient.

In 2012, he received the David E. Rogers Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges who referred to Snyderman as the “father of personalized medicine.” Dr. Snyderman is the recipient of numerous other awards recognizing his contributions to research and to developing more rational models of health care. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. His bibliography exceeds 380 manuscripts as well as numerous books.

Bonnie Spring, PhD
Bonnie Spring

Bonnie Spring is a pioneer in developing efficient, effective, scalable technology-supported interventions to foster multiple health behavior changes in diet, physical activity, and tobacco use. After receiving her PhD from Harvard University and becoming board certified in clinical health psychology, she launched a health promotion research program that has been continuously federally funded for more than 30 years. Currently, she directs the Center for Behavior and Health at Northwestern University, where she is Professor of Preventive Medicine, Psychology, Psychiatry, and Public Health. She also serves as the University’s Team Science Director and Program Leader for Cancer Prevention.

A past president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, she is a winner of the Society’s Research to Practice Translation and Distinguished Research Mentor awards. A winner of The Obesity Society’s e-Health Pioneer Award, she is also Immediate past chair of the American Heart Association’s Behavior Change Committee, a standing study section member for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an elected member of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Board of Scientific Affairs, past member of APA’s Advisory Steering Committee on Treatment Guidelines, and Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of Translational Behavioral Medicine.