Speakers Announced for IM Network Forum: Keynote – George Church, Professor of Genetics at HMS

Posted On: April 24th, 2018

Aterah Nusrat

Speakers Announced for IM Network Forum: Keynote – George Church, Professor of Genetics at HMS

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Integrative Medicine Network Forum. Dr. Church will also be joined by Drs. Kathryn Hall, Manoj Bhasin and John Denninger for our panel discussion and audience Q&A.

Together, our expert line up of speakers will take us through a stimulating arc of exploration, bringing their unique perspectives to bear on some of the significant intersections between genetics, epigenetics and lifestyle.



Keynote Speaker: George M. Church, PhD

Dr. Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, a founding member of the Wyss Institute, and Director of PersonalGenomes.org, the world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental, and trait data. Church is known for pioneering the fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology.

He developed the first methods for the first genome sequence & dramatic cost reductions since then (down from $3 billion to $600), contributing to nearly all “next generation sequencing” methods and companies.

His team invented CRISPR for human stem cell genome editing and other synthetic biology technologies and applications – including new ways to create organs for transplantation, gene therapies for aging reversal, and gene drives to eliminate Lyme Disease and Malaria.  Church is director of IARPA & NIH BRAIN Projects and National Institutes of Health Center for Excellence in Genomic Science.  He has coauthored 450 papers, 105 patents, and one book, “Regenesis”. His honors include Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science, the Time 100, and election to the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering.

Kathryn T. Hall, PhD

Dr. Hall is an Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Associate Molecular Biologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Director of Placebo Genetics in the Program for Placebo Studies based at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and HMS.

Dr. Hall’s area of excellence is in the pharmacogenomics of placebos and supplements, with an emphasis on aspirin and vitamins in cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention. Response to placebos and supplements vary widely across individuals, and new evidence, from her group and others, suggests that genetic variation plays a key role in the response magnitude. Dr. Hall’s research program aims to identify and leverage the functional effects of supplement and placebo response genes (the placebome), to optimize clinical trials and placebo effects in the clinic.

Manoj K. Bhasin, PhD

Dr. Bhasin is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is also a co-Director of BIDMC, Genomics, Proteomics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Center and Senior Investigator at HMS Vascular Biology Center.

Dr. Bhasin is an experienced genome and systems Biology  investigator with a strong track record in computational vaccine design, functional genomics, proteomics and systems biology with over 100 scientific publications, multiple patents and copyrighted softwares. He used the power of cutting edge genome and epigenome along with systems biology approaches to identify key pathways and genes associated with beneficial effects of mind-body interventions, which elicit the relaxation response (RR). In collaboration with BHI, his group identified that NF-kB—a key immune system regulator—and its upstream and downstream pathways as central in the response to mind-body approaches. His group has also used the power of BigData and Genomics to develop evidence based next-generation Ayurveda and supplement formulation for management of multiple chronic diseases.

John Denninger, MD, PhD

Dr. Denninger is the Director of Research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also serves as Associate Director of the MGH-McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program and Instructor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Denninger has received many awards for his research and teaching, including the NCDEU New Investigators Award and the Harvard Medical School Students Award for Teaching. Dr. Denninger’s work overseeing the Benson-Henry Institute’s research program explores the relationship between stress reduction, resiliency enhancement and health in both clinical and basic domains. His research focuses on answering two questions about mind-body medicine interventions: (1) Assessing how well these interventions can help to promote wellness in a broad range of people and (2) determining how these interventions work, by exploring details of mechanism from genes, to biochemistry, to physiology, to brain activity.