Invited Speakers

IGES is pleased to announce the following invited speakers taking part in the 2020 conference:



Philip Awadalla, Ph.D. - Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Dr. Philip Awadalla, PhD, is the National Scientific Director for the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, Director of Computational Biology and the Executive Scientific Director of Ontario Health Study at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and Professor of Population and Medical Genomics at the University of Toronto. He is Director of the Genome Canada, Canadian Data Integration Centre. He was the Scientific Director of CARTaGENE, and was part of the analysis groups of the 1000 Genomes Program and PCAWG. Major projects include genomics of aging, hematological diseases and cancers. Other projects include estimating mutation and recombination rates; model-based approaches to identify genetic; and environmental control points for infectious diseases in Africa. 




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.


Geoffrey Ginsburg, M.D., Ph.D. - Duke University

ginsbergDr. Ginsburg is the founding director for the Center for Applied Genomics & Precision Medicine at the Duke University Medical Center and for MEDx, a partnership between the Schools of Medicine and Engineering to spark and translate innovation.  His research addresses the challenges for translating genomic and digital information into medical practice and the integration of precision medicine into healthcare. In 2017 he received Duke’s Translational Research Mentorship Award and is a finalist in the NIH/BARDA Antimicrobial Resistance Prize.

He is a member of the Advisory Council to the Director of NIH and is co-chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Genomic and Precision Health and is founder and president of the Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative, a not for profit organization aimed creating international partnerships to advance the implementation of precision medicine. He has recently served as a member of the Board of External Experts for the NHLBI, the advisory council for the National Center for Accelerating Translational Science, the chair of the review for Genome Canada’s Large Scale Applied Research Competition in Genomics and Precision Medicine, and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of the Health Sector.  He is a founder of Predigen Inc and MeTree&You Inc.  He was previously Vice President of Molecular Medicine at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School.




Y.J. Kim. - National Institute of Heath (Korea)

Dr. Kim is a staff scientist in the Division of Genome Research, Center for Genome Science, National Institute of Health, Korea. His work focuses on genomics and related bioinformatics analysis of common complex diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes using population-scale genomic data.








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. 




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.