Board & Advisors

Board of Directors

John Finney, Chairman

John D. Finney is Chairman of the Board of Directors. Along with his brother, Michael J. Finney, Ph.D., Mr. Finney founded and grew MJ Research and MJ Bioworks, two businesses which were the premier providers of instrumentation and reagents for genome analysis. Mr. Finney received his A.B. in Economics from Harvard University. He continues to serve as Chairman of G Corp, Inc. and of GeneWorks Pty Ltd.

Michael Finney, Ph.D., Investor

Dr. Finney is an investor based in San Francisco. He was a founder and Chief Scientific Officer of MJ Research, and is currently an investor in over a dozen privately-held companies in biotechnology, alternative energy, and allied areas. He is a director of the privately-held companies Vaxart, Wavemark, Innerscope Research, Sage Science and Banyan Energy, a director of the non-profit G Corp (administrator of the industry-leading AGBT Genomics meeting), and a past director of Mission Motors and Pharmasecure; he is also former Chief Executive Officer of Vaxart. Dr. Finney received his Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. He holds eight U.S. patents.

Nathan D. Lakey, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Lakey is President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Regionally, Mr. Lakey was awarded the top 40 under 40 award (2004 St. Louis), presented the governor's top technology award (2005 Missouri), and he currently serves as Chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee, Biogenerator, and on the Patient Care Committee of the Board of Missouri Baptist Hospital. Mr. Lakey was founding principal of Orion Genomics and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since June 2000. Mr. Lakey has more than 20 years of experience in genomics. Prior to the founding of Orion Genomics, he was Director of DNA Sequencing at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1994-98), where he built and operated Millennium's DNA sequencing platform, and helped form three strategic business units - Millennium Predictive Medicine, Millennium Biotherapeutics and Cereon Inc. Before joining Millennium, Mr. Lakey held various positions with Molecular Dynamics (Sunnyvale, CA), Ambion Inc (Austin TX) and Harvard Medical School, Department of Genetics, in George Church's laboratory. Mr. Lakey received a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Texas (Austin), and an MBA from Washington University Olin School of Business (St. Louis) where he received the C. William Emory Executive MBA Award. Mr. Lakey holds multiple issued patents in the U.S. and abroad.

W. Richard McCombie, Ph.D., Professor Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Dr. McCombie is a member of the Board of Directors and a scientific co-founder of the Company. He is a Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Dr. McCombie received his B.A. in Biology from Wabash College, his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Microbiology Department of the University of Texas (Austin). He worked in the area of yeast gene expression at Phillips Petroleum, and was a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where he was the leader of one of the first groups to carry out large-scale automated sequencing of genomic DNA and helped to organize the first large-scale EST sequencing project. He has been on the faculty at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 1992.

John D. McPherson, Ph.D. Orion Genomics Cancer and Senior Principal Investigator Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Dr. McPherson is a member of the Board of Directors, and is a scientific co-founder of the Company. He is currently the Cancer Genomics Director and Senior Principal Investigator, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. He is focusing on genomic characterization of tumors for gene target and biomarker discovery for improved detection, diagnosis and treatment potential. His laboratory has major efforts in pancreatic and prostate cancer as well as integrating high-throughput sequencing technologies into the clinical decision tree for therapeutic intervention. Previously, he was Associate Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine and faculty member of the Human Genome Sequencing Center (2003-2007) where his research focused on utilizing high-throughput genomic resources to study human disease and functional genomics. Dr. McPherson's prior appointments were Associate Professor of Genetics and Co-Director of the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri (1995-2003) and Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry and Co-Director of the Human Genome Research Center at the University of California at Irvine (1994-1995). Dr. McPherson is an expert in genomics and played a lead role in the generation of the human and mouse physical maps as part of the Human Genome Project. Dr. McPherson received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Queen's University (Ontario) and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Biochemistry Department at the University of California (Irvine).

Richard K. Wilson, Ph.D., Professor of Genetics and Molecular Microbiology Washington University School of Medicine Director, Genome Sequencing Center

Dr. Wilson is a member of the Board of Directors and a scientific co-founder of the Company. He served as Interim CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors during Orion's start-up phase. Dr. Wilson is Professor of Genetics and Professor of Molecular Microbiology at Washington University in St. Louis and Director of The Genome Institute. He is an expert in molecular genetics and large-scale DNA sequence analysis. His laboratory at the Washington University School of Medicine has sequenced and analyzed billions of bases of DNA from the genomes of bacteria, yeast, roundworms, plants, vertebrates, primates and humans. He and his colleagues at The Genome Institute sequenced the first animal genome - that of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans - and contributed substantially to the sequencing and analysis of the human genome. More recently, his laboratory was the first to sequence the genome of a cancer patient and discover genetic signatures relevant to the pathogenesis of the disease. Building upon this achievement, Dr. Wilson's laboratory has sequenced the genomes of several hundred patients in an effort to discover clues that will facilitate more effective diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other human diseases. This includes participation in the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project and The Cancer Genome Atlas. In addition to his position at The Genome Institute, Dr. Wilson is also a Research Member at the Siteman Cancer Center, and a member of their Senior Leadership Committee. He received his B.A. degree from Miami University in Ohio in 1981, his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in 1986 and was a Research Fellow in the Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology (1986 - 1990). In 2008, Dr. Wilson was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2008). In 2011, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from Miami University, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences.

Scientific Advisors

Robert Brown, Ph.D., Professor Centre for Oncology & Applied Pharmacology University of Glasgow

Andrew P. Feinberg, MD, MPH, King Fahd Professor of Molecular Medicine Depts. of Med., Oncology, Molecular Biology & Genetics Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Michael Lovett, Ph.D.,Professor of Human Genetics Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Lovett is Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics, Joint Director, Division of Human Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Lovett was previously Associate Professor of Otorhinolaryngology, Molecular Biology and Oncology, and a Member of the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center at Dallas. Prior to his move to UTSW, Dr. Lovett was a faculty member at UCSF and Senior Director of Molecular Genetics at Genelabs Incorporated. His research group has conducted pioneering work in gene identification methods and have participated in the positional cloning of several disease genes. Among these are the genes that cause ataxia-telangiectasia, Chediak-Higashi syndrome, diastrophic dysplasia and multiple exostoses. His current research interests include the genetics of non-syndromic hearing loss, new methodologies for gene discovery and analysis, and the molecular genetics of orthopaedic disorders. Dr. Lovett received his PhD. in Biochemistry from the University of London and his postdoctoral training in Genetics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Elaine Mardis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Genetics Washington University School of Medicine

In addition to serving as Assistant Professor of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Mardis is also the co-director of the Washington University Genome Sequencing Center where she leads the Technology Development group. Dr. Mardis is an expert in the development of DNA sequencing technology and is responsible for the many procedures and high-throughput automated systems currently in use at the Genome Sequencing Center. Dr. Mardis has served as a technical consultant for several commercial high-throughput sequencing laboratories, including Monsanto and Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Mardis received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma.

Howard McLeod, Pharm. D., Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor University of North Carolina

Dr. McLeod is the Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy in the Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics Division. Dr. McLeod is also the Principal Investigator for the CREATE Pharmacogenetics Research Network, a member of the NIH funded Pharmacogenetics Research Network and is a member of the FDA subcommittee on Clinical Pharmacology. Howard has published over 170 peer reviewed papers on pharmacogenomics, applied therapeutics, or clinical pharmacology and continues to work to integrate genetics principles into clinical practice to advance individualized medicine.

Eric Richards, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology Washington University

Dr. Richards is currently an Associate Professor of Biology at Washington University. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University in 1989. Dr. Richards' research program uses a combination of forward and reverse genetic approaches to study the function and regulation of cytosine methylation, principally using experimental models. In addition, the Richards lab studies the broader role of DNA modification and chromatin packaging in cementing alternative epigenetic states that influence inherited characters.

Mark Watson, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Division of Laboratory Medicine Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Watson is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Laboratory Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He also currently serves as the Director of the Siteman Cancer Center Tissue Procurement Core Facility and as the Director of the Multiplexed Gene Analysis Core Facility at the Siteman Cancer Center in addition to serving as the Director of the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group Central Specimen Bank. Dr. Watson earned his Ph.D. in Neuroscience and his M.D. from Washington University in 1992. His laboratory specializes in characterizing the genes associated with solid tumor development in humans with the goal of developing new diagnostic tests and treatment strategies for these tumors. The Watson lab has a special focus on understanding the role that a group of novel proteins they identified, including mammoglobin, play in the development of human breast cancer.

Robert A. Martienssen, Ph.D., FRS, Howard Hughes Professor Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Dr. Martienssen is a scientific co-founder of the company and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board. He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (HHMI-GBMF) Investigator and Professor of Plant Genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York where he leads the plant biology group. As well as developing strategies to exploit methylation in genome sequencing, Dr. Martienssen has also investigated the link between DNA methylation, histone methylation, and RNA interference in plants and yeast. His work, along with that of his colleagues, was awarded the "Breakthrough of the Year" by the journal, Science, in 2002. Dr. Martienssen was a co-recipient of the Kumho International Science Award in 2001 and was the 2003 recipient of the Newcomb Cleveland Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Martienssen received his B.A. in Natural Sciences (Genetics) from Cambridge University, England and his Ph.D. from the Plant Breeding Institute and Cambridge University. He completed postdoctoral studies at Berkeley, and has been on the faculty at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 1989. Dr. Martienssen was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006, and an associate member of EMBO in 2011. He was Fellow in Residence at Institut Pasteur in 2007, and holds an International Chaire Blaise Pascal in Paris from 2011-2013.