Invited Speakers

IGES is pleased to announce the following invited speakers taking part in the 2020 virtual event. For a complete schedule, click here.


Peter Kraft, Ph.D., IGES President

Peter Kraft is Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Director of the Program in Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He received his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California under the supervision of Dr. Duncan Thomas. His research concentrates on the design and analysis of genetic association studies, with particular emphasis on the genetic epidemiology of cancer. He has participated in many international consortia studying genetics and environmental exposures in relation to cancer risk over the last fifteen years, including the Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3); the NCI’s PanScan and Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) projects; the NCI’s “post-GWAS” GAME-ON consortium; the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC); and the Cancer Risk Estimates Related to Susceptibility Genes (CARRIERS) consortium, which is sequencing cancer predisposition genes in a large population-based breast cancer case-control sample. His methodological work has focused on efficient and interpretable “gene x environment interaction” analyses; building and evaluating risk prediction models incorporating high dimensional genetic data; and integrative analyses combining genetic and environmental risk factors with intermediate biomarkers (gene expression, metabolomics). He has taught introductory and advanced courses in genetic epidemiology and statistical learning at the Harvard Chan School since 2004 and co-chaired the American Association for Cancer Research’s Integrative Molecular Epidemiology workshop since it started in 2013. Dr. Kraft has been an IGES member since 1997, serving on the board of directors, program committee and publications committee between 2008 and 2015.
Schedule: July 2, 8:15am-8:45am, EDT


Hongbing Shen, M.D., Ph.D. - Nanjing Medical University 

Professor Shen is the Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and President of Nanjing Medical University. He also served as Director of the Cancer Center and Professor of Epidemiology for Nanjing Medical University. Prof. Shen’s research is primarily focused on genetic and environmental influences on cancer development and prognosis.  Prof. Shen has led a large study exploring the genetic basis of lung cancer in the Chinese population which identified novel susceptibility genes. In addition, he developed a polygenic risk score (PRS) for lung cancer which has been successfully evaluated in a large-scale prospective cohort study in Chinese population.
Schedule: July 2, 8:45am-9:15am, EDT





Zhengming Chen, Ph.D. - University of Oxford

Professor Zhengming Chen is Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Oxford. His primary research domains lie in the environmental and genetic causes of chronic disease, evidence-based medicine and evaluation of widely practicable treatments for chronic diseases (such as IHD, stroke and cancer) as well as efficient strategies for chronic disease control in developing countries. Over the past 20 years, he has led several large randomised trials and cohort studies involving >750,000 individuals. He has been the lead principal investigator in the UK for the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB) prospective study of 0.5 million adults, leading a research team in Oxford for the study design, development, data management and analysis for the CKB.
Schedule: July 2, 9:15am – 9:45am, EDT



Xihong Lin, Ph.D. - Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Xihong Lin is Professor of Biostatistics, Professor of Statistics, and Coordinating Director of the HCSPH Program in Quantitative Genomics at Harvard University. Dr. Lin’s research interests lie in development and application of scalable statistical and computational methods for analysis of massive data from genome, exposome and phenome, such as Whole Genome Sequencing studies, integrative analysis of different types of data, and biobanks. She received the 2006 Presidents’ Award and the 2017 FN David Award from the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS), and is an elected member of the US National Academy of Medicine. She is the PI of the Outstanding Investigator Award (R35) from the National Cancer Institute, and the contact PI of the Harvard Analysis Center of the Genome Sequencing Program of the National Human Genome Research Institute. 
Schedule: July 3, 8:10am-8:40am, EDT



Priya Duggal, Ph.D. - Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 

Priya Duggal is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and International Health, and the Director of the Genetic Epidemiology program at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She also co-directs the Burroughs-Wellcome funded training program, Maryland: Genetics, Epidemiology and Medicine that cross trains students in genetic medicine and epidemiology. She has taught genetic epidemiology courses since 2009 including the introductory Principles of Genetic Epidemiology course.

Dr. Duggal received her MPH in International Health and PhD in Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with Dr. Terri H. Beaty. She then completed her post-doctoral fellowship in Statistical Genetics at the National Human Genome Research Institute with Dr. Joan Bailey-Wilson. Her research is on the host genetic susceptibility to infectious disease with a focus on the role of host genetics in susceptibility and progression of disease and immune response. She has worked with both adult and pediatric populations within the US and Internationally to identify host genes associated with parasitic (E. histolytica, Cryptosporidium), viral (hepatitis C, HIV, hepatitis B, enterovirus) and bacterial (campylobacter) infections. She also leads efforts to understand Acute Flaccid Myelitis , a paralysis that occurs in children following a viral infection. And she is directing the genetics arm of the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) study of 50,000 children and mothers. Dr. Duggal has served on the education (2007-2010), local planning (2014-2015)  and communications committees (2015-present) for IGES.  





drcolijnCaroline Colijn, Ph.D., Simon Fraser University

Dr. Colijn is a Professor and Canada 150 Research Chair at The University of Waterloo. Her work is at the interface of mathematics and the epidemiology and evolution of pathogens. She holds a Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematics for Evolution, Infection and Public Health. This group develops mathematical tools connecting sequence data to the ecology and evolution of infections. Dr. Colijn holds a long-standing interest on the dynamics of diverse interacting pathogens. For example, how does the interplay between co-infection, competition and selection drive the development of antimicrobial resistance? To answer these questions, her group is building new approaches to analyzing and comparing phylogenetic trees derived from sequence data, studying tree space and branching processes, and developing ecological and epidemiological models with diversity in mind.