Each Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC) honors figures whose leadership has significantly contributed to the advance of personalized medicine. This year, PMWC will be honoring three individuals: Dr. Craig Venter and Professor Ron Davis with the Luminary Award and Dr. Dennis Lo, with the Pioneer Award. The three awards will be handed out at an exclusive reception.


Craig Venter

Craig Venter, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Executive Chairman, CEO - Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI)

Craig Venter, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Executive Chairman, CEO - Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI)

J. Craig Venter is a biologist renowned for his contributions in sequencing the first draft human genome in 2001, the first complete diploid human genome in 2007 and construction of the first synthetic bacterial cell in 2010. He is a co-founder, executive chairman and CEO of Human Longevity Inc (HLI), a privately held genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company focused on extending the healthy, high performance human life span. He is also founder, executive chairman and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and a co-founder, executive chairman and co-chief scientist of Synthetic Genomics Inc (SGI), a privately held company focused on developing products and solutions using synthetic genomic technologies. He and his teams are focused on a variety of projects and programs including: synthetic genomic research and the application of these advances to develop new vaccines and food and nutritional products, new biofuels and biochemicals; continued analysis of the human genome including the human microbiome, and discovering and understanding genetic diversity in the world's oceans. Dr. Venter is a recipient of the 2008 National Medal of Science and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life (Viking, 2013) and A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life (Viking, 2007).

Professor Dennis Lo

Professor Dennis Lo, M.D., Ph.D, Director, Li Ka Shing Inst. of HS, Chinese Uni. of HK

Professor Dennis Lo, M.D., Ph.D, Director, Li Ka Shing Inst. of HS, Chinese Uni. of HK

In 1997, Dr. Dennis Lo and his co-workers reported the presence of cell-free fetal DNA in the plasma of pregnant women. The finding of circulating fetal DNA in maternal blood has opened up new possibilities for noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. He elucidated the fundamental characteristics of such molecules, developed the technologies for their analysis, conceptualised their use and brought non-invasive prenatal diagnosis to a reality. He achieved the non-invasive prenatal diagnosis of trisomy 21, which has been hailed as the holy grail in prenatal diagnosis. Within a few years, tests, such as sex determination for sex-linked genetic disorders, are clinically used in many centres, replacing the corresponding conventional tests.

Ron Davis

Ron Davis, Ph.D., Director, Stanford Genome Technology Center

Ron Davis, Ph.D., Director, Stanford Genome Technology Center

Dr. Ron Davis developed the R-loop technique of electron microscopy for mapping coding RNA’s which led to the discovery of RNA splicing. Dr. Davis was the first to demonstrate the use of restriction endonucleases for joining DNA fragments. Dr. Davis was a co-collaborator in the development of the first DNA microarray for gene expression profiling, and the gene expression profile of the first complete eukaryotic genome. He is a Professor of Biochemistry & Genetics, and Director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center at Stanford University where he is a researcher in biotechnology and molecular genetics, particularly active in human and yeast genomics and the development of new technologies in genomics, with over 30 biotechnology patents.”

Date & Agenda

When: January 25, 2015 at 6:30pm-8:30pm

Click here for the Award Ceremony Agenda:
Award Ceremony Agenda

6:30PM Networking, appetizers and cocktails

7:00PM Co-host opening words: Amir Dan Rubin

7:05PM Co-host opening words: Jonathan Sheldon

7:10PM Ron Davis Luminary intro: George Church

7:20PM Words by Honoree: Professor Ron Davis

7:25PM Craig Venter Luminary intro: John Ryals

John Ryals, Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Metabolon, Inc.

Dr. John Ryals co-founded Metabolon, Inc. in 2002 and serves as president, CEO and chairman. Metabolon is a pioneer and leader in the field of metabolomics and its use in personalized medicine and human health. Prior to Metabolon, he was a co-founder, CEO and president of Paradigm Genetics, Inc., which he led to a successful IPO in 2002. Paradigm Genetics eventually sold to Monsanto and is now the Monsanto research site in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Prior to Paradigm Genetics, Dr. Ryals joined the Ciba-Geigy Agricultural Biotechnology Unit in 1985, now Syngenta. He worked at various research and management positions at Ciba and later Novartis, leading the agricultural biotechnology efforts of the company from 1993 to 1997 when he departed to form Paradigm Genetics. Dr. Ryals was on the board of Athenix Corp., which was acquired by Bayer Crop Sciences, and is a co-founder and board member of AgBiome, which is located in Research Triangle Park.

7:30PM Words by Honoree: Craig Venter

7:40PM Dennis Lo Luminary intro: Charles Cantor

Charles Cantor, Ph.D., Founder, and retired Chief Scientific Officer, SEQUENOM, Inc.

Dr. Charles Cantor is a founder, and retired Chief Scientific Officer at SEQUENOM, Inc., which is a genetics discovery company with tools, information and strategies for determining the medical impact of genes and genetic variations. Dr. Cantor consults for a number of biotech companies including SEQUENOM, Agena and Retrotope.

He is also the founder of SelectX Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery company, Retrotope, an anti-aging company, and DiThera, a biotherapeutic company. Dr. Cantor is professor emeritus of Biomedical Engineering and of Pharmacology and was the director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology at Boston University. He is currently adjunct professor of Bioengineering at UC San Diego, adjunct professor of Molecular Biology at the Scripps Institute for Research, and distinguished adjunct professor of Physiology and Biophysics at UC Irvine. Prior to this, Dr. Cantor held positions in Chemistry and then in Genetics and Development at Columbia University and in Molecular Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. Cantor was educated in chemistry at Columbia College (AB) and at the University of California Berkeley (PhD).

Dr. Cantor has been granted more than 60 US patents and, with Paul Schimmel, wrote a three-volume textbook on biophysical chemistry. He also co-authored the first textbook on Genomics titled 'The Science and Technology of the Human Genome Project'. In addition, he sits on the advisory boards of numerous national and international biotechnology firms, has published more than 450 peer-reviewed articles, and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

7:45PM Words by Honoree: Professor Dennis Lo

7:55PM 2015 Program Committee Chair, Ralph Snyderman, closing words

Ralph Snyderman, M.D., Chancellor Emeritus, Duke University

Ralph Snyderman, MD is Chancellor Emeritus, Duke University and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine in the Duke University School of Medicine. He served as Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine at Duke University from 1989 to July 2004 and led the transition of this excellent medical center into an internationally recognized leader of academic medicine. He oversaw the development of the Duke University Health System, one of the most successful integrated academic health systems in the country, and served as its first President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Snyderman has played a leading role in the conception and development of Personalized Health Care, an evolving model of national health care delivery. He was amongst the first to envision and articulate the need to move the current focus of health care from the treatment of disease-events to personalized, predictive, preventive, and participatory care that is focused on the patient. Dr. Snyderman is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his contributions to research and to developing more rationale models of health care. In 2012, he received the David E. Rogers Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges who referred to Snyderman as “the father of personalized medicine.”

8:00PM Networking, appetizers and cocktails
Register: Click here

Suggested dress: Cocktail attire

Previous PMWC Luminary Award Receptions

PMWC 2010 Silicon Valley: Lee Hood, first DNA sequencer co-inventor PMWC 2011 Silicon Valley: George Church, Human Genome Project co-developer

PMWC 2012 Silicon Valley: Brian Druker, Inventor of Gleevec
PMWC 2013 Silicon Valley: Janet Woodcock, Director of CDER, FDA

PMWC 2013 Israel: Kim Popovits, CEO, Genomic Health
PMWC 2014 Silicon Valley: Jay Flatley, CEO, Illumina

PMWC 2014 Israel: Michael Hayden, CSO of Teva & developer,
first predictive test for Huntington’s Disease