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Meet the Epinomics Team

CO-FOUNDERS


PAUL GIRESI

Paul Giresi Ph.D. was a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellow (American Cancer Society) at Chang Lab.  He has a Ph.D. in both Biology and Bioinformatics, and has worked as a bioinformatician at Aventis Pharmaceuticals.

He has over a decade of wet and dry lab experience developing epigenomic technologies for improving human health.  He has authored 17 publications in epigenomics, and is a co-Inventor of the ATAC-seq technology.

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FERGUS CHAN

Fergus Chan received his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he has also completed Stanford Public Management and Social Innovation Program.

With his aspiration to make an impact to human lives through innovation, he has gained rich social entrepreneurship experience in healthcare and education.  He was a fast-tracked consultant at McKinsey, advising leading companies’ executives and countries’ leaders, with his expertise in strategy, business partnership, finance and operations.  He has also management experience in growing successful business through working in private equity portfolio management.  His experience spans from inventing early-stage technology, starting ventures, to growing companies to be successful.

Scientific Co-founders


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Howard Chang

Howard Y. Chang M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Dermatology at Stanford University School of Medicine and Early Career Scientist of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Chang earned a Ph.D. in Biology from MIT, M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and completed Dermatology residency and postdoctoral training at Stanford University. His research addresses how individual cells know where they are located in the human body, which is important in normal development and in cancer metastasis. He has invented new methods for epigenomic profiling and define RNA structures genome-wide. Chang discovered a new class of genes, termed long noncoding RNAs, can control gene activity throughout the genome, illuminating a new layer of biological regulation. The long term goal of his research is to decipher the regulatory information in the genome to benefit human health.  

Dr. Chang’s honors include the Damon Runyon Scholar Award, American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine New Faculty Award, elected membership to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, and the Judson Daland Prize of the American Philosophical Society.

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Will Greenleaf

William Greenleaf is an Assistant Professor in the Genetics Department at Stanford University School of Medicine, with a curtsey appointment in the Applied Physics Department. He is a member of Bio-X, the Biophysics Program, the Biomedical Informatics Program, and the Cancer Center. He received an A.B. in physics from Harvard University (summa cum laud) in 2002, and received a Gates Fellowship to study computer science for one year in Trinity College, Cambridge, UK (with distinction). After this experience abroad, he returned to Stanford to carry out his Ph.D. in Applied Physics in the laboratory of Steven Block, where he investigated, at the single molecule level, the chemo-mechanics of RNA polymerase and the folding of RNA transcripts. He conducted postdoctoral work in the laboratory of X. Sunney Xie in the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department at Harvard University, where he was awarded a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Fellowship, and developed new fluorescence-based high-throughput sequencing methodologies. He moved to Stanford as an Assistant Professor in November 2011. Since beginning his lab, he has been named a Rita Allen Foundation Young Scholar, an Ellison Foundation Young Scholar in Aging (declined), and a Baxter Foundation Scholar. He has also published a number of papers, including four (in Nature Biotechnology, Nature Methods, The American Journal of Human Genetics, and Science,) as corresponding or co-corresponding author. 

His highly interdisciplinary research links molecular biology, computer science, and bioengineering, to understand how the physical state of the human genome controls gene regulation and biological state. His long-term goal is to unlock an understanding of the physical “regulome” — i.e. the factors that control how the genetic information is read into biological instructions — profoundly impacting our understanding of how cells maintain, or fail to maintain, their state in health and disease.

Advisors


Mike Snyder

Michael Snyder is the Stanford Ascherman Professor and Chair of Genetics and the Director of the Center of Genomics and Personalized Medicine. Dr. Snyder received his Ph.D. training at the California Institute of Technology and carried out postdoctoral training at Stanford University. He is a leader in the field of functional genomics and proteomics, and one of the major participants of the ENCODE project. His laboratory study was the first to perform a large-scale functional genomics project in any organism, and has launched many technologies in genomics and proteomics. These including the development of proteome chips, high resolution tiling arrays for the entire human genome, methods for global mapping of transcription factor binding sites (ChIP-chip now replaced by ChIP-seq), paired end sequencing for mapping of structural variation in eukaryotes, de novo genome sequencing of genomes using high throughput technologies and RNA-Seq. These technologies have been used for characterizing genomes, proteomes and regulatory networks. Seminal findings from the Snyder laboratory include the discovery that much more of the human genome is transcribed and contains regulatory information than was previously appreciated, and a high diversity of transcription factor binding occurs both between and within species. He has also combined different state-of–the-art “omics” technologies to perform the first longitudinal detailed integrative personal omics profile (iPOP) of person and used this to assess disease risk and monitor disease states for personalized medicine.

He is a cofounder of several biotechnology companies, including Protometrix (now part of Life Tehcnologies), Affomix (now part of Illumina), Excelix, and Personalis, and he presently serves on the board of a number of companies.

Joe Ecker

Joseph R. Ecker, is Salk International Council Chair in Genetics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Investigator, and a Professor in Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory. He is one of the nation's leading authorities on the molecular biology and genetics of plants. Ecker was a principal investigator in the multinational project that sequenced the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana, a modest weed that has become a model organism for the study of plant genetics. This wild mustard variety is the first plant to have its genome sequenced, an achievement expected to have widespread implications for agriculture and perhaps human medicine as well.

Ecker is also widely regarded as one of the foremost experts on how the gaseous hormone ethylene regulates a variety of basic plant processes. For agriculture, ethylene gas is a vital chemical messenger important for such processes as fruit ripening and how plants respond to pathogenic organisms.

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Anshul Kundaje

Anshul Kundaje is an Assistant Professor at Stanford with the Dept. of Genetics and Dept. of Computer Science since Sept 2013. From 2003-2008, he was a PhD student in Christina Leslie's lab in the Computer Science Dept. at Columbia University in New York. He developed Machine Learning methods for modeling transcriptional gene regulation in yeast and worm. From 2008 - 2012, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Serafim Batzoglou and Arend Sidow in the Computer Science Dept. at Stanford University. He served as one of the lead data coordinators and computational analysts for the ENCODE consortium. His primary focus was on deciphering heterogeneity of regulatory interactions in the human genome. He also developed ENCODE's ChIP-seq statistical data analysis pipeline. Before returning to Stanford as a faculty member, He was a Research Scientist in Manolis Kellis' lab (2012-2013) studying epigenomic and chromatin state dynamics across organisms, cell-types and individuals as part of the Roadmap Epigenomics Project and the mod/ENCODE (Encyclopedia for DNA elements) consortium.

Kundaje’s research focus is the development of machine learning and computational frameworks to learn integrative models of transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation from massive amounts of diverse sequence, genetic and functional genomic datasets.

Robert Tibshirani

Robert Tibshirani is a Professor in the Departments Health Research and Policy and Statistics at Stanford University. In his work he has made important contributions to the analysis of complex datasets, most recently in genomics and proteomics. His most well-known contribution is the Lasso, which uses L1 penalization in regression and related problems. He has co-authored over 200 papers and three books. Professor Tibshirani 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. He is one of the most widely cited authors in the entire mathematical sciences field. 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's award in 1996, the NSERC Steacie award in 1997 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012.

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Interested in joining the Epinomics team?