The Genomics Institute at the University of California, Santa Cruz Names Its New Leader

Lauren Linton is the new executive director of the Genomics Institute at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Linton is a scientist, entrepreneur, and executive with experience leading institutions in genomics, pharmaceutical and diagnostic development, biotechnology, entrepreneurship, and innovation. She is well known in the genomics community as one of the leaders of the original Human Genome Project. Her efforts led to a dramatic 20-fold increase in productivity for the center now known as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to make it the lead sequencing center for the public project, which resulted in the world’s first human genome reference.

“The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute is such an important player in the field,” Dr. Linton said. “Coming here is really a ‘full circle’ moment for me. As one of the original leaders of the Human Genome Project, I understand the limitations of the original reference sequence. It’s great to be able to join the leading-edge work that’s being done here at UC Santa Cruz. Their efforts to improve and diversify the original reference genome and lead real-world impact through work with the CDC, large-scale conservation genomics collaborations, incredibly powerful computational and visualization platforms, and outstanding mentorship and diversity programs for raising up the next generation of scientists are crucial for advancing the field.”

Dr. Linton added: “I like to pose the question of how academia can move from a focus on outputs, like papers and talks, to outcomes – asking the questions: Who will this affect? What difference can we make? What impact will we generate? The great news is that the Genomics Institute has started asking these questions, and delivering on them. The potential for meaningful growth here is really extraordinary.”

To build on this potential, Linton says that the institute will need to continue to expand the multidisciplinary approach upon which it was founded. She praises the Baskin School of Engineering, which houses the Genomics Institute, for its foresight and leadership in making the space for these kinds of collaborations between the sciences and engineering early on. Broadening the promise of genomics will similarly require strengthening relationships with all areas of campus, from engineering to the arts.

Filed Under: LeadershipNews


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply