Invited Speakers and Topics


Mike Boehnke, University of Michigan
Lon Cardon , GlaxoSmithKline
Gail Jarvik, University of Washington
Joel Schwartz, Harvard University
Nicole Soranzo, Sanger Institute
Steven Narod, University of Toronto
Josée Dupuis (Presidential Address), Boston University
Rob Tibshirani (Educational Workshop), Stanford University
Quaid Morris (Educational Worksop), University of Toronto


Topics covered by the invited speakers will include:

  • Genetic epidemiology findings and drug development
  • Next generation sequencing in the clinic
  • UK10K project and rare variants
  • Exposomics
  • Complex trait architecture and disease mechanisms
  • Big data phenotyping

Invited Speaker Biographies

BoehnkeMichael Boehnke is the Richard G. Cornell Distinguished University Professor of Biostatistics and Director of the Center for Statistical Genetics and Genome Science Training Program at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on development and application of statistical designs and analysis methods for human genetics, with emphasis on identification of genetic variants that predispose to human diseases and traits. He is a principal investigator of the FUSION study of the genetics of type 2 diabetes (T2D), steering committee chair of the T2D-GENES multiethnic genome sequencing consortium, and a PI of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership T2D Knowledge Portal project, the BRIDGES bipolar disorder sequencing project, and the InPSYght schizophrenia and bipolar sequencing project. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



LCardon3Dr. Lon Cardon joined GlaxoSmithKline in 2008, initially as SVP of Genetics and shortly thereafter combining Genetics with the departments of Statistics, Epidemiology, Computational Biology and Clinical Pharmacokinetics to form the Quantitative Sciences division. In 2015 he created and continues to lead GSK’s Target Sciences, a new division aimed at harnessing the latest discoveries and technologies in genomics and other forms of ‘big data’ to advance the next generation of drug targets. Prior to joining GSK, Lon was a senior academic in the UK and USA, as Professor of Bioinformatics at the University of Oxford until 2006 and then as Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He has received a number of scientific awards, including election to the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has authored more than 200 scientific publications and 15 books and chapters.





JarvikProfessor Gail Jarvik M.D., Ph.D. is an internist and medical geneticist who holds the Arno G. Motulsky Endowed Chair in Medicine and heads the Division of Medical Genetics and the Northwest Institute of Genetic Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. She cares for adult medical genetics patients. Her research focuses on the statistical genetic analysis of common diseases and the implementation of genomic medicine. Additionally, she has active research in biomedical ethics, including returning genomic research results to subjects. She is a PI in both the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) and clinical sequencing exploratory research (CSER) consortia.







SoranzoProf. Nicole Soranzo is a human geneticist working in the field of human complex trait genetics. Her research focuses on the application of large-scale genomic analysis to unravel the spectrum of human genetic variation associated with cardiometabolic and immune diseases, and its interaction with non-genetic and environmental cues. Prof. Soranzo graduated in biological sciences at the University of Milano, Italy, with a dissertation on population and evolutionary genetics. She later obtained a PhD in genetics from the University of Dundee, and undertook post-doctoral training in human population and statistical genetics at University College London, conducting applied and methodological work in evolutionary genetics and association studies. In 2005 Prof. Soranzo joined the Pharmacogenomics Department at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development (Raritan, USA). In 2007 she joined the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and since 2009 she has led her own team. In 2015 she was additionally appointed as Professor of Human Genetics at the School of Clinical Medicine of the University of Cambridge. Furthermore, Prof. Soranzo is a member of the Cambridge University Platelet Biology and Cardiovascular groups, the NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Donor Health and Genomics and the EU BLUEPRINT and EpiGeneSys projects. She serves in several steering committees and scientific advisory boards, and is on the editorial board for the European Journal of Human Genetics, Genome Medicine, Trends in Genetics, and Molecular Biology and Evolution.

SchwartzJoel Schwartz, Ph.D, is a Professor in the departments of Environmental Health and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, on the steering committee of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and Director of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. His major research interests include health effects of air pollution, of heavy metals, of weather, and of drinking water. He has examined these questions using a variety of methods including time series, case-crossover, and case-only analyses of administrative data, survival and repeated measures analyses of cohorts, panel studies, etc. He has recently focused on environmental epigenetics, as well as gene-environment interaction studies. In addition, he has been involved in exposure modeling, including both land use regression approaches as well as use of remote sensing data. His research has also involved how to integrate multiple exposures in intelligent ways. He received the John Goldsmith Career Achievement Award From the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, the International Union of Environmental Protection Agencies World Congress Award, the Nichols Teaching Award, and a John D and Catherine T MacArthur Fellowship. He has been a member of two previous National Academy of Sciences committees (Environmental Epidemiology and Lead Exposure in Critical Populations), and is currently a member of the standing committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions.




Dr. Steven Narod is a world-leader in the field of breast and ovarian cancer. Over the course of his career, he has profoundly shaped our knowledge of how to assess risk for breast and ovarian cancer and how to reduce mortality among women who have BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. He studies various aspects of cancer genetics, including prevention, screening and treatment. His database of over 15,000 women with mutations from 30 countries supports numerous international collaborations.

Dr. Steven Narod is a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Breast Cancer, a professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a senior scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, where he directs the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit. With more than 700 peer-reviewed publications Dr. Narod is one of the most highly cited cancer researchers in the world. In 2012, Dr. Narod was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2016 he was awarded the Killam Prize for Health Sciences and the Basser Global Prize for Breast and Ovarian Cancer.



DupuisIGESJosée Dupuis, Ph.D, is a Professor and Interim Chair of Biostatistics at Boston University School of Public Health. She previously held a faculty position at Northwestern University and she was a senior statistical geneticist at Genome Therapeutics Corporation, a small biotech company, prior to joining Boston University in 2003. She has extensive experience in the development and application of methods for mapping complex traits, and she has published over 150 articles in the field of statistical genetics. Her methodological contributions include genome-wide significance level, mapping of quantitative traits in experimental organisms and robust quantitative trait linkage and association analysis methods in extended pedigrees. Her recent work involves the development of rare variant association tests in families, and approaches to detect gene x gene and gene x environment interactions. She is involved in the Framingham Heart Study, collaborating on projects to identify genes influencing diabetes related traits, pulmonary function and biomarkers of inflammation. Professor Dupuis is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and she is President of the International Genetic Epidemiology Society.



rob tibshiraniRobert Tibshirani is a Professor in the Departments of Statistics and Health Research and Policy at Stanford University. He received a B.Math. from the University of Waterloo, an M.Sc. from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He was a Professor at the University of Toronto from 1985 to 1998. Professor Tibshirani is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the Royal Society of Canada. He won the prestigious COPSS Presidents’ award in 1996, the NSERC Steacie award in 1997, the CRM-SSC Prize in Statistics in 2000, and the University of Waterloo distinguished alumni achievement award in 2006. He was elected to the U.S National Academy of Sciences in 2012. In his work he has made important contributions to the analysis of complex datasets, most recently in genomics and proteomics. Some of his most well-known contributions are the lasso, which uses L1 penalization in regression and related problems, generalized additive models and Significance Analysis of Microarrays (SAM). He also co-authored five widely used books: “Generalized Additive Models”, “An Introduction to the Bootstrap”, “The Elements of Statistical Learning”, “Introduction to Statistical Learning, and “Sparsity in Statistics”. Professor Tibshirani also co-authored the first study that linked cell phone usage with car accidents, a widely cited article that has played a role in the introduction of legislation that restricts the use of phones while driving.


Quaid_Morris_2Quaid Morris ( is a professor in the Donnelly Centre at the University of Toronto in Canada. He is a multi-disciplinary researcher with cross-appointments in the Departments of Computer Science, Engineering, and Molecular Genetics. He founded his lab in 2005 and after having received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2003. His doctoral training was in machine learning and computational neuroscience under the supervision of Peter Dayan at M.I.T. and the Gatsby Unit at University College London. His undergraduate training was in computer science and biology at the University of Toronto. His lab uses statistical learning to make biological discoveries and develop new methodology for analyzing large-scale biomedical datasets. His lab is currently interested in cancer genomics, post-transcriptional regulation, text mining of medical records and the automated prediction of gene function (see