The opinions expressed on Genomes Unzipped are those of individual participants, and are not intended to represent the views of the group as a whole or those of participant’s employers.

About the Project

Genomes Unzipped is a collaborative blog about personal genomics. Our goal is to provide genetic testing consumers with independent and informed analysis of developments in the field of genetics and the genetic testing industry.


Daniel MacArthur is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, with a research group based jointly at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. His research focuses on developing more accurate approaches to the functional interpretation of large-scale human DNA sequencing data, as well as the use of genomic approaches to diagnose severe muscle diseases.

Luke Jostins is a postgraduate student working on the genetic basis of complex auto-immune diseases. He has a strong background in informatics and statistical genetics, and writes about genetic epidemiology and sequencing technology on his blog Genetic Inference.

Daniel Vorhaus is an attorney at the law firm of Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as an ELSI advisor to the Personal Genome Project and Editor of the Genomics Law Report. Dan holds degrees in philosophy and computer science (Duke University), bioethics (Lancaster University, UK) and law (Harvard Law School). Dan’s legal practice specializes in advising biotechnology, pharmaceutical and genomics researchers, entrepreneurs, companies and investors on legal compliance and commercialization strategies.

Caroline Wright is a molecular scientist who currently manages a major UK project to translate genomic technologies into clinical genetics practice for children with developmental disorders. She is also a Visiting Fellow and former Head of Science at the PHG Foundation, an independent genetics think-tank, working to understand the applications and implications of whole genome sequencing for health. She trained at the University of Cambridge, where she studied natural sciences followed by a PhD in biological chemistry.

Kate Morley is a statistical geneticist who works on understanding the role of genomic variation in developmental disorders. She studied molecular and population genetics, taking a brief diversion into ethics research before completing a PhD in genetic epidemiology. Kate previously worked on the analysis of complex human diseases and remains interested in this area.

Vincent Plagnol is a statistical geneticist at University College London (UCL). After his training in mathematics and statistics in Paris, France and a PhD at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, he started working in the field of medical genetics, in particular autoimmune disorders and type 1 diabetes at the University of Cambridge. In October 2009 he was appointed as a  lecturer at the UCL Genetics Institute (UGI), London.

Jeffrey Barrett leads a statistical genetics research group aimed at understanding the genetic factors which lead to complex human diseases, especially those involving autoimmunity. His early work included development of software tools for analysis and visualization of large-scale genome wide datasets (e.g. the widely used Haploview program). Recently he has led the analysis of genome-wide association studies (the kind which feed into personal genomics risk reports) in Crohn’s disease and type 1 diabetes, each of which identified twenty novel loci.

Jan Aerts is a bioinformatician with a background in biology. He was involved in the Chicken and Cow Genome Sequencing Projects and worked at the Roslin Institute in Scotland and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge. He is currently on a tenure-track at Leuven University in Belgium. His focus lies on genomic variation detection and visualization. He writes the blog Saaien Tist.

Joe Pickrell is a PhD student in human genetics at the University of Chicago, where he works on problems in both human evolution and gene regulation. Prior to moving to Chicago, he studied biology at the University of North Carolina, and statistical genetics at the Université de Paris-Sud. More information can be found at his website.

Don Conrad is a postdoctoral researcher in human genome variation. He works on the full range of genomic mutations, from single nucleotide to larger copy-number changes; he also does research on de novo mutation with the 1000 Genomes Project. His other interests include personal genomics and genomic medicine.

Carl Anderson heads a statistical genetics research group aimed at understanding the genetic factors underlying human diseases, with a focus on autoimmunity. Recently he has led the analysis of genome-wide association studies for a wide-range of diseases including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, endometriosis and primary biliary cirrhosis. He is also a member of the UK10K statistical analysis group.

Ilana Fisher is a dentist with a professional interest in preventive health care, evidence-based clinical practice, public health and health services research. In addition to her clinical qualifications she has two research degrees (a Bachelor’s in oral molecular biology and a Master’s in epidemiology) and a long-standing personal interest in genomics.

Sponsorship and Acknowledgments

PHG FoundationThe PHG Foundation kindly provided a grant of £600 to cover the costs associated with the Genomes Unzipped website.

We are also very greatful to Zoe McDougall at Oxford Nanopore for ample help and advice on media relations and visual identity.

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