News and Events : 2017 : April

Human Genetics Grand Rounds Features Distinguished Presidential Scholar Carlos D. Bustamante, Ph.D.

The Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics (DHG) and the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics (HIHG) hosted, as part of the Human Genetics Grand Rounds, Distinguished Presidential Scholar Dr. Carlos D. Bustamante.

His presentation, “Genomics for the World: Application of Next Generation Sequencing in Diverse Populations and Methods for Evaluating the Pathogenicity of Variants,” was given as part of a five lecture series throughout the University of Miami campuses.

Dr. Bustamante is the Founding Director for the Stanford Center for Computational, Evolutionary, and Human Genomics, Founding Chair and Professor of the Department of Biomedical Data Science and a Professor of Genetics and (by courtesy) Biology for the Stanford University School of Medicine. He received a B.A. (1997), M.A. (2001), and Ph.D. (2001) from Harvard University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford (2001–2002). His scientific articles have appeared in such journals as Nature, Science, Molecular Biology and Evolution, PLoS Genetics, and PNAS.

For the past 15 years, Dr. Bustamante has led a multidisciplinary team working on problems at the interface of
computational and biological sciences. Much of his research has focused on genomics technology and its application in medicine, agriculture, and evolutionary biology. His first academic appointment was at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. There, much of his work focused on population genetics and agricultural genomics
motivated by a desire to improve the foods we eat and the lives of the animals upon which we depend. He moved to Stanford in 2010, to focus on enabling clinical and medical genomics on a global scale. He has been particularly focused on reducing health disparities in genomics by: (1) calling attention to the problem raised by >95% of participants in large-scale studies being of European descent; and (2) broadening representation of understudied groups, particularly U.S. minority populations and those from Latin America. Taken together, this work has empowered decision-makers to utilize genomics and data science in the service of improving human health and wellbeing. His future goal is to scale these operations from focusing on researchers to consumers and patients, where we ultimately want our work to have the greatest impact.

Dr. Bustamante’s presentation focused on genetic testing for a variety of populations and the future of healthcare.