SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Helix, a consumer genomics company, today announced the formation of the company's Scientific Advisory Board ("SAB") with the appointment of seven of the world's foremost experts in genomics. The members of the SAB will serve as strategic and scientific resources to Helix as it builds a novel consumer genomics ecosystem. The inaugural SAB includes leaders in population genetics, bioinformatics, medical genetics, and ethics. Robert Green, M.D., MPH of Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Broad Institute and Harvard Medical School will serve as chair of the Scientific Advisory Board.
"A consumer ecosystem that supports a variety of commercial partners will be in a unique position to assert high standards for scientifically sound products," said Robert Green, chair of the SAB. "This SAB plans to offer rigorous scientific counsel to Helix, and encourage clear communication from Helix and all of its partners."
The inaugural members of the Helix Scientific Advisory Board can be found below.
Goncalo Abecasis, Ph.D., is Felix E. Moore Collegiate Professor of Biostatistics and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan. Dr. Abecasis' research focuses on the development of statistical tools for the identification and study of genetic variants important in human disease.
Atul Butte, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Institute of Computational Health Sciences (ICHS) at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Butte's laboratory builds and applies tools that integrate molecular, clinical, and epidemiological data into diagnostics, therapeutics, and new insights into disease.
Nita Farahany, J.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Law and Philosophy, Director of Duke Science & Society at Duke University, and a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethics. Her research focuses on how developments in behavioral genetics and neuroscience inform societal norms about privacy and individual liberty.
Judy Garber, M.D., MPH is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Garber's recent research has evaluated novel agents targeting DNA repair defects in treatment and prevention of triple-negative or basal-like breast cancer. She also developed one of the first cancer risk and prevention clinics.
Robert Green, M.D., MPH is Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Genomes2People Research Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and is an associate member of the Broad Institute. Dr. Green's research focuses upon randomized trials and observational studies to assess the medical, behavioral and economic outcomes of using genomics in medicine and society.
Keith Stewart, M.B., CH.B. is the Carlson and Nelson Endowed Director, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine and the Vasek and Anna Maria Polak Professor of Cancer Research. Dr. Stewart is responsible for systematically introducing clinical genomics to routine medical practice at Mayo Clinic incorporating prevention, diagnosis and treatment across the spectrum of medical specialties.
Spencer Wells, Ph.D., is a population geneticist, author and entrepreneur. He is co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Embark Veterinary, a startup focused on genomics-driven companion animal wellness, and an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Wells directed the Genographic Project at National Geographic from 2005 to 2015, which played a key role in creating the consumer genomics industry.
"We are thrilled to have attracted some of the preeminent experts in human genetics as we develop a transformative genomics platform to empower every person to discover insights into their DNA," said Jay Flatley, Chairman and CEO of Illumina, Inc. and Chairman of the Helix Board. "The composition and caliber of the SAB demonstrates the enthusiasm in the scientific and clinical communities for Helix's approach. We are very pleased to welcome these individuals to our scientific advisory board."
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Helix empowers every person to gain insights into their own DNA. Helix is building one of the world's largest next-generation sequencing laboratories in San Diego, California to support a vibrant ecosystem for consumer genomics. Helix has previously announced collaborations with the Center for Individualized Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (LabCorp®), Good Start Genetics, and Duke University. All of Helix's partners are able to incorporate genetic insights into innovative products for consumers without the burden of developing their own assay, laboratory infrastructure, or computational infrastructure. Helix expects that additional partners will develop applications focused on areas such as fitness, diet, genealogy, lifestyle, wellness, and inherited traits.
To learn more about Helix, visit www.helix.com or follow @my_helix.