Scientific Advisory Board

Sir Walter Bodmer, PhD, FRCPath, FRS

Sir Walter Bodmer is one of the world's preeminent human geneticists, knighted by the Queen of England in 1986 for his major contributions to science and the improvement of the public's awareness and understanding of science and technology. He is currently Head of the Cancer and Immunogenetics Laboratory in the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Oxford; former appointments include Chair of Genetics at Oxford University and Director of Research at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) Laboratories in London, and later the first Director-General of ICRF. Dr. Bodmer completed his Ph.D. at Cambridge University working with Sir Ronald Fisher, who created the foundations for modern statistical science and statistical genetics. At Stanford University, he worked with Nobel Laureate Joshua Lederberg, and he made major contributions to the discovery of the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) system. He was one of the first to propose the idea of the Human Genome Project and was the President of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO). In 2005, he was appointed by the Wellcome Trust to study the genetic makeup of the United Kingdom, the People of the British Isles project. In 2008, he authored a seminal paper that put forward the importance of rare variants in common diseases, which challenged the decade-old Common Disease – Common Variant hypothesis and initiated a turning point in the field to focus on finding medically relevant rare variants. Dr. Bodmer's scientific work has resulted in >500 publications, he is the recipient of >30 honorary degrees and fellowships, and he has won several awards including: William Allan Award from the American Society of Human Genetics, Neil Hamilton Fairly Medal from the Royal College of Physicians, and Michael Faraday Prize from the Royal Society of London.

Stephen Scherer, PhD, FRSC

Dr. Scherer holds the GlaxoSmithKline-Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Genome Sciences at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Toronto and he is Director of the McLaughlin Centre at the University of Toronto and The Centre for Applied Genomics at SickKids. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto working with Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, discoverer of the cystic fibrosis gene. Drs. Scherer and Tsui founded Canada's first human genome center, The Centre for Applied Genomics (TCAG). He has made numerous contributions to the field of genome biology and medical genetics and his scientific work has resulted in >400 publications. In 2004, his team co-discovered genome-wide copy number variations (CNVs) as a highly abundant type of genetic variation in human genomes, which resulted in his 2014 selection as a Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate. His group has identified CNVs as a major contributor to the etiology of autism and many other disorders. Dr. Scherer has won numerous awards and honors such as International Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2002, Steacie Prize in Natural Sciences in 2003, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2007, Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), Premier's Summit Award in Medical Research in 2008, and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013. Dr. Scherer is the Research Director of the MSSNG project, a collaboration between Autism Speaks, SickKids, and Verily (Google Cloud), that is building the world’s largest autism genome database.