Scientific Advisory Board
Sir 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 in the pioneering studies of DNA transformation of bacteria 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 Dr. Bodmer 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 that are causative of common diseases. Dr. Bodmer's scientific work has resulted in nearly 500 publications and he is the recipient of more than 30 honorary degrees and fellowships, including: Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath), Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians; recipient of the William Allan Memorial Award from the American Society of Human Genetics, the Neil Hamilton-Fairly Medal from the Royal College of Physicians, and the Michael Faraday Award from the Royal Society.
Dr. Scherer holds the GlaxoSmithKline-CIHR Endowed Chair in Genetics and Genomics at The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto (U of T) and he is Director of the U of T McLaughlin Centre and The Centre for Applied Genomics (TCAG). He obtained his Ph.D. in genetics at U of T under Professor Lap-chee Tsui, discoverer of the cystic fibrosis gene. Drs. Scherer and Tsui founded Canada's first human genome centre (TCAG). He has made numerous contributions to medical genetics including mapping, sequencing and disease gene studies of human chromosome 7. In 2004, his team co-discovered global gene copy number variation (CNV) and has since shown that CNV is the most abundant type of genetic variation of human DNA. His group then identified CNV to contribute to the etiology of autism and many other disorders, and the Database of Genomic Variants he founded facilitates hundreds of thousands of clinical diagnoses each year. His work is documented in >300 publications and patents cited more than 20,000 times. Dr. Scherer has won numerous honors such as the 2004 Steacie Prize, an International Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholarship, and the 2008 Premier's Summit Award for Medical Research. He is a distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Royal Society of Canada, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Autism Speaks has named him Director of the Autism Speaks Ten Thousand Genomes Program (AUT10K).