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Harry A. Waisman Memorial Lecture – Stephen Scherer, PhD, DSc FRSC – Understanding the Composition of the Human Genome for Studies of Genetic Disease

September 23, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Stephen Scherer, PhD, DSc FRSC

Harry A. Waisman Memorial Lecture

Stephen Scherer, PhD, DSc FRSC
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids); University of Toronto
Profile webpage: sickkids.ca/en/staff/s/stephen-scherer


About the Speaker: Dr. Stephen Scherer’s research includes understanding the composition of the human genome for studies of genetic disease built around three themes:

  1. gene copy number and structural variation in the human genome,
  2. determining the genetic architecture in autism spectrum and related- disorders and using this information to help families, and
  3. developing infrastructure and capacity in Canada for translational genomics research.

He has co-published over 600 papers and many of these have been in the highest impact periodicals, such as Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Medicine, the New England Journal of Medicine, and Science. His research discoveries have also headlined in the New York Times, Globe and Mail, The Independent, Time, Newsweek, Scientific American, and he often appears on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), and other national media explaining scientific breakthroughs.

He achieved the distinction of Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher. In 2014, he was selected to join a handful of elite scientists worldwide as a Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate for seminal contributions to the field of Physiology or Medicine “For the discovery of large-scale copy number variation and its association with specific diseases”, placing his name on the lifetime Thomson Reuters Hall of Laureates.

He holds leadership positions on numerous grants, and funding to his program has exceeded $350M, impacting basic science and knowledge translation. He is Director of The Centre for Applied Genomics, managing $100M of revenues in the past 5 years, and Director of the University of Toronto McLaughlin Centre, a $50M endowment that funds research and education in genomic medicine. Through this dynamic translational research program, he has supervised 19 graduate students, 44 post-doctoral fellows, 52 visiting fellows and >200 undergraduate students; and these scientists are now working in 20 countries around the world. He has also delivered over 400 invited presentations in 28 countries.

Scherer’s team uses advanced technologies to study genes and how they are involved in health and medicine, in particular the neurobehavioral disorder called autism. They study families, populations of people, and cellular and animal models. Their goal is to identify genetic markers for diagnosis to enable early identification, and to discover molecular pathways for new medicine development.

Scherer has also founded or co-founded the Autism Genome Project, The Canadian Personal Genome Project, The Database of Genomic Variants, the Autism Speaks MSSNG 10,000 Project, the CANSEQ150, and most recently the Canadian COVID-19 Host Genome Sequencing Project.

For Further Information, Contact: Clark Kellogg at kellogg@waisman.wisc.edu
The seminar series is funded by the John D. Wiley Conference Center Fund, the Friends of the Waisman Center and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) grant P50HD105353.



September 23, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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