Personalis Co-Founder Dr. Atul Butte MD, Stanford University, Recognized at the White House
Key genome interpretation technology developed by Dr. Butte’s lab is being commercialized by Personalis, Inc., under exclusive license.
Menlo Park, CA – June 30, 2013 – Personalis, Inc. today announced that one of its co-founders, Dr. Atul Butte MD, is to be recognized today in a ceremony at the White House in Washington, DC. Along with 12 other scientists, Dr. Butte is being recognized as part of the White House “Champions of Change” program. Through this program, the White House highlights individuals, businesses, and organizations whose extraordinary stories and accomplishments positively impact our communities.
To watch this event live, visit https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2013/06/20/transforming-open-access-biomedical-data-new-drugs-and-diagnostics at 1:00 pm ET on June 20th. To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program, visit https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/champions/open-science .
Dr. Butte is a pediatrician, geneticist, computer scientist, and entrepreneur at Stanford University and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Over five years ago, when very few human genomes had ever been sequenced, he initiated a major effort to create a high quality database, manually curated from the scientific and medical literature, linking genetic variation with disease. This database was exclusively licensed by Personalis and its curation is being continued at an even higher rate by the company. This is now thought to be the largest manually curated database of its type in the world. Dr. Butte’s lab also pioneered methods for combining multiple genetic risk factors for a disease, for combining genetic and environmental risks, and other advanced techniques. Personalis is making these technologies broadly available through its Accuracy and Content Enhanced (ACETM) Exome and Whole Genome Sequencing, and its Genome Services for Researchers and Clinicians.
In 2010, Dr. Butte joined with a large Stanford team to publish the first clinical assessment incorporating a human genome (Lancet, May 1, 2010). This led to one of the first analyses of genomes from a healthy family quartet (PLoS Genetics, Sept 15, 2011). While these publications pioneered many new technologies and have been broadly cited, it became clear that to scale to the large number of genomes then imminent, the technology would need to be commercialized. Dr. Butte joined with three other Stanford faculty members (Dr. Michael Snyder, Dr. Russ Altman and Dr. Euan Ashley) and with John West (former CEO of the DNA sequencing company Solexa) to found Personalis. Mr. West became CEO and the Stanford faculty members founded its scientific advisory board.
Dr. Butte commented that “It is great to see the work started at Stanford University be carried forward and made available to the world by Personalis.”
Personalis CEO, John West, stated “We are pleased to see this great recognition for Dr. Butte’s vision and leadership. Work at his lab and those of others at Stanford have contributed greatly to advancement of the field. It has been terrific working with him and we strongly applaud today’s recognition by the White House.”