2018 Emerging Leader Award Recipient ($250,000 grant), George Church, PhD
Founding Core Faculty & Lead, Synthetic Biology; Wyss Institute at Harvard University; Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School; Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard and MIT

Dr. George M. Church is known for pioneering the specialized fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology. He is director of the National Institutes of Health Center for Excellence in Genomic Science and has co-authored 450 papers, 95 patent publications, as well as the book Regenesis. Dr. Church has received numerous awards including the 2011 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute and the number four spot on The Scientist’s Top Innovations of 2008 list. His project, detailed below, was selected for the 2018 Emerging Leader Award, a $250,000 grant.

Project Overview
Dr. Church, along with Dr. Ting Wu, will use his ELA award to establish the Genomic Lyme Disease Research Initiative at Harvard Medical School. This research initiative seeks to leverage the expansive expertise and significant resources of the Church and Wu Labs to build on their professional and personal interests in finding better ways to treat the disease. Their project includes a
population health study analyzing a sample of individuals, both affected and unaffected by Lyme disease, to compare their genetic and immune variations in the hopes of better understanding the genetic underpinnings of the disease as well as finding targets for future therapies.