Meet John Quackenbush, PhD

Professor Quackenbush is also author of The Human Genome, a very readable account of the Human Genome Project as it developed in the 1990s. In September 2011 Dr. Quackenbush discussed his book and the implications of the Human Genome Project in 2011 in a SftPublic program The Human Genome Project. In May, 2012 at Boston University he presented a talk on genomic medicine and the work of his research team in The Advent of Personalized Genomic Medicine.

John Quackenbush, PhD is a Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at the Harvard School of Public Health, Professor of Cancer Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Director, of the DFCI Center for Cancer Computational Biology.

Dr. Quackenbush is a leader in the fields of genomics and computational biology. His research focuses on the analysis of human cancer, and his work uses systems- based approaches to understanding and modeling the biological networks that underlie disease. He and his team have made fundamental discoveries about the role that variation in gene expression plays in defining biological phenotypes. This work is a significant contribution to the development of personalized medicine, especially for cancer patients.

Professor Quackenbush's background is especially interesting -and perhaps an indication of an emerging trend in a era where convergence of academic fields in science requires expertise in multiple fields. Shortly after receiving his PhD in theoretical physics at UCLA, Dr. Quackenbush was lured into the exciting Human Genome project which attracted some of the best minds in the U.S. He joined the faculty of Craig Venter’s Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in 1997, where he and his group developed analytical methods that he would later refine and expand when he joined the faculties of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2005.