MAQC Society Board of Directors and Officers

A Board of Directors is chartered to develop the Society and oversee the Society’s activities. Specifically, the Board is dedicated to building and strengthening the reproducible science practice by (1) engaging scientists in academia, industry, and government, (2) fostering collaboration and harmonization of education, research tools, and new technologies, and (3) building the global-scientific infrastructure needed to advance and promote reproducible science.

Weida Tong, PhD, Past President and Board Chairman

Director, Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics NCTR/FDA

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Dr. Tong is Director of Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR/FDA). He has served a science advisory board member for several large projects involving multiple institutes in Europe and USA. He also holds several adjunct positions at universities in US and China. His division at FDA works to develop bioinformatic methodologies and standards to support FDA research and regulation and to advance regulatory science and personalized medicine. The most visible projects of his group are (1) leading the Microarray Quality Control (MAQC) consortium to develop standard analysis protocols and quality control metrics for emerging technologies to support regulatory science and precision medicine; (2) development of liver toxicity knowledge base (LTKB) for drug safety; (4) in silico drug repositioning for the enhanced treatment of rare diseases; and (4) development of the FDA bioinformatics system, ArrayTrackTM suite, to support FDA review and research on pharmacogenomics. In addition, his group also specializes in molecular modeling and QSARs with specific interest in estrogen, androgen, and endocrine disruptor. Dr. Tong has published more than 230 papers and book chapters.

Leming Shi, PhD, President

Professor and Director, Center for Pharmacogenomics and Fudan‐Zhangjiang Center for Clinical Genomics School of Life Sciences, Fudan University Shanghai, China

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Dr. Leming Shi is a professor at the School of Life Sciences of Fudan University in Shanghai, China where he established and directs the Center for Pharmacogenomics and Fudan‐Zhangjiang Center for Clinical Genomics. Dr. Shi’s research focuses on pharmacogenomics, bioinformatics, and cheminformatics aiming to realize precision medicine by developing biomarkers for early cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and personalized therapy. As a principal investigator at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2003 to 2012, Dr. Shi conceived and led the MicroArray and Sequencing Quality Control (MAQC/SEQC) project aimed at realizing precision medicine by standardizing genomics and bioinformatics (www.nature.com/nbt/focus/maqc/, www.nature.com/focus/maqc2/, and www.nature.com/nbt/collections/seqc/), leading to the development of several FDA guidance documents. Dr. Shi was a co‐founder of Chipscreen Biosciences Ltd. in Shenzhen, China where he co‐developed a chemogenomics‐based drug discovery platform leading to several novel small‐molecule drug candidates with promising efficacy and safety profiles in anticancer and antidiabetic clinical trials in China, US, and Japan, with one novel compound (Chidamide) approved in 2014 by China FDA for treating T‐cell lymphoma and another candidate in Phase III clinical trials. Dr. Shi is a co‐inventor on nine issued patents about novel therapeutic molecules and has published over 200 peer‐reviewed papers (11 of them appeared in Nature Biotechnology) with >8,000 citation by SCI journals. Dr. Shi received his Ph.D. in computational chemistry from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, M.Sc. in computational chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, and B.Sc. in analytical chemistry from Hunan University in Changsha, China. Dr. Shi conducted postdoctoral training at Case Western Reserve University and the NIH/NCI. Dr. Shi was a senior research scientist at Wyeth (now Pfizer) and BASF before co‐founding Chipscreen in 2001.

Cesare Furlanello, PhD, Vice President

Head of Predictive Models for Biomedicine and Environment, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy

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Cesare Furlanello is senior researcher at the Kessler Foundation (Trento, Italy), head of Complex Data Analytics and of the Predictive Models for Biomedicine and Environment research unit. He is a data scientist, active in the field of bioinformatics, combining machine learning methods with new data analytics infrastructures. He is a PI collaborator of international consortia such as the SEQC/MAQC FDA initiative and the RIKEN FANTOM5 project and President-Elect of the newly founded Massive Data Analysis and Quality Control (MAQC) society. His most recent research is directed to deep learning applied on integrative omics, imaging and phenotypic data, with a focus on scientific reproducibility.

Rebecca Kusko, PhD, Executive Secretary

VP of Genomics, Immuneering Corporation, Cambridge MA, USA

Mailing address:
One Broadway 14th Fl
c/o Immuneering
Cambridge, MA 02142 USA

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Dr. Kusko is a computational biologist with expertise in translating NGS and other genomic data to clinical discoveries. She has integrated directly with clinicians on study design, as well as with lab scientists in functional genomics, to plan molecular biology and validation experiments. After completing her undergraduate degree in Biological Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she went on to complete her Ph.D. in Computational Biomedicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. Her doctoral thesis focused on the transcriptome in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung cancer in never smokers. She is currently the VP of genomics at Immuneering, where she focuses on leveraging transcriptomic data to make drug development discoveries in neurodegeneration and cancer.

 

Baitang Ning, PhD, Treasurer

Division of Systems Biology, National Center for Toxicological Research, USA

Dr. Ning is a senior research biologist at National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration of United States of America (US FDA) where he is leading a group to conduct studies focusing on the functional genomics, molecular pharmacogenomics, and pharmacogenetics in drug efficacy and drug safety. He received his medical degree from Sun Yat-Sen University (China) and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (USA). Dr. Ning is a member of Society of Toxicology. He has authored/co-authored several dozens peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Shraddha Thakkar, PhD, Vice Treasurer

National Center for Toxicological Research, USA

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Dr. Thakkar works at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research. Her research interests are in applying bioinformatics and chemoinformatics for study of toxicity and drug development with specific interest in drug-induced liver injury. She has received multiple research and leadership awards regionally and nationally and with FDA. That includes Genentech Innovation in Biotechnology Award from American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientist (AAPS), Margret C. Etter Student lecturer award from American Crystallography Association, and Outstanding Service award from FDA. Dr. Thakkar has adjunct appointments at both University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and University Arkansas at Little Rock (Assistant Professor). Furthermore, Dr. Thakkar was elected as Board member of the Mid-South Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Society (MCBIOS) in 2014 and served as President for the Society from 2016-2017. She is also the Chair of Pharmacogenomics Group at AAPS.

Wendell Jones, PhD, President-elect

Principal Bioinformaticist and Scientific Advisor EA Genomics, A business unit of Q2 Solutions

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Dr. Jones is currently Principal Bioinformaticist and Scientific Advisor at Q2 Solutions | EA Genomics. He conducts collaborative scientific research with clients in multiple areas, especially in oncology and immuno‐oncology. His background includes leading the analysis, development and validation of the bioinformatic and computational systems that process complex genomic assays, including next generation sequencing assays, evaluating new and emerging genomic technologies, and developing bioinformatic implementation strategies. He consults with clients and provides thought leadership in industry and public consortiums involved in genomic science and measurement. Dr. Jones has over 15 years of experience in advanced genomic technologies and 20 years of experience in scientific and technology leadership positions, including serving as Vice President of Statistics and Bioinformatics at Expression Analysis, Inc and Chief Science Officer at Reliametrics, a Nortel Networks business unit. He has authored over 30 peer‐reviewed publications and has presented at numerous scientific meetings and industry conferences and consortium workshops.

Russell D. Wolfinger, PhD

Director of Scientific Discovery and Genomics SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC USA

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Russ leads a team in research and development of JMP‐based software solutions in the areas of genomics and clinical research. He joined SAS in 1989 after earning a PhD in Statistics from North Carolina State University (NCSU). For ten years he devoted his efforts to developing statistical procedures in the areas of linear and nonlinear mixed models, multiple testing, and density estimation. In 2000 he started the Scientific Discovery department at SAS. Wolfinger is co‐author of more than 100 publications and a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Statistical Association. He also is an adjunct faculty member at NCSU and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Kaggle Master.

Benjamin Haibe-Kains, PhD

Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Center University Health Network; Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics University of Toronto; Adjunct Professor, Department of Computer Science University of Toronto; OICR Associate, Ontario Institute of Cancer Research

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Dr. Benjamin Haibe-Kains is Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PM), University Health Network, Assistant Professor in the Medical Biophysics and Computer Science departments of the University of Toronto, and Associate at the Ootario Institute of Cancer Research, In Toronto, ONtario, Canada. Dr. Haibe-Kains earned his PhD in Bioinformatics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). Supported by a Fulbright Award, he did his postdoctoral fellowship at the Dana-farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health (USA). He started his own laboratory at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal (Canada) and moved to PM in November 2013. Dr. Haibe-Kains’ research focuses on the integration of high-throughput data from various sources to simultaneously analyze multiple facets of carcinogenesis. In particular, Dr. Haibe-Kains and his team are analyzing high-throughput (pharmaco)genomic datasets to develop new prognostic and predictive models and to discover new therapeutic regimens with the aim to significantly improve disease management. Dr. Haibe-Kains' main scientific contributions include several prognostic gene signatures and subtype classification models for ovarian and breast cancers, genomic predictors of drug response in cancer cell lines, as well as integrative drug taxonomy.

Christopher Mason, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, USA

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Dr. Christopher Mason completed his dual B.S. in Genetics and Biochemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison (2001), his Ph.D. in Genetics from Yale University (2006), and then completed his dual post-doctoral training at Yale Medical School in genetics and a fellowship at Yale Law School (2009). He is currently an Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, with appointments at the Tri-Institutional Program on Computational Biology and Medicine between Cornell, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University, the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, and the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute.

The Mason laboratory develops and deploys new biochemical and computational methods in functional genomics to elucidate the genetic basis of human disease and human physiology. We create and explore novel techniques in next-generation sequencing and algorithms for: tumor evolution, genome evolution, DNA and RNA modifications, and genome/epigenome engineering. We also work closely with NIST/FDA to build international standards for these methods, to ensure clinical-quality genome measurements/editing. We also work with NASA to build integrated molecular portraits of genomes, epigenomes, transcriptomes, and metagenomes for astronauts, which help establish the molecular foundations and genetic defenses for enabling long-term human space travel.

He has won the NIH’s Transformative R01 Award, the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance Young Investigator award, the Hirschl-Weill-Caulier Career Scientist Award, the Vallee Foundation Young Investigator Award, the CDC Honor Award for Standardization of Clinical Testing, and the WorldQuant Foundation Research Scholar Award. He was named as one of the “Brilliant Ten” Scientists by Popular Science, featured as a TEDMED speaker, and called “The Genius of Genetics” by 92Y. He has >125 peer-reviewed papers that have been featured on the covers of Nature, Science, Cell Host and Microbe, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Microbiology, Neuron, and Genome Biology and Evolution, and cited by the U.S. District Court and U.S. Supreme Court. His work has also appeared on the covers of the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, TIME, and the New York Times, many media (ABC, NBC, CBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, PBS, NASA, NatGeo). He has co-founded three biotechnology start-up companies and serves as an advisor to many others. He lives with his daughter and wife in Brooklyn, NY.

Matthias Fischer, MD

Professor and Senior Physician, Experimental Pediatric Oncology, University Children's Hospital, Cologne, Germany

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Dr. Matthias Fischer is a physician-scientist heading the Department of Experimental Pediatric Oncology at the University Children’s Hospital of Cologne, Germany. Dr. Fischer is serving as Senior Physician at the University Children’s Hospital of Cologne since 2009, and was appointed as full Professor for Pediatrics in 2016. His laboratory is focused on elucidating the genetic etiology and molecular pathogenesis of neuroblastoma, a pediatric tumor of the sympathetic nervous system. In particular, Dr. Fischer and his team is applying high-throughput technologies, such as massively parallel sequencing and microarray analysis, to discover relevant alterations of neuroblastoma development, to establish prognostic and predictive biomarkers, and to identify therapeutic targets. All of this work is geared to translate novel findings from basic research into clinical practice, in order to improve clinical management of neuroblastoma patients. Dr. Fischer has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, and served as advisory board member in several national and international committees, covering both basic and clinical research projects.

Susanna Sansone, PhD

Associate Director (Life, Natural and BioMedical Sciences), Oxford e-Research Centre

Dr. Sansone is an Associate Director and Principal Investigator at the Oxford e-Research Centre, and one of the founding members of the Digital Research Cluster at Wolfson College in Oxford. She is also a Consultant for Springer Nature, and Founding Honorary Academic Editor of Scientific Data.

Dr. Sansone holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK; after few years working on vaccine genetics in an Imperial's spinoff (now known as Emergent BioSolutions, Inc .) she moved to the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI, Cambridge) where she worked for nine years as a Project and Team Coordinator and Principal Investigator, before moving to the Oxford e-Research Centre in 2010.