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Elaine Mardis, PhD

Elaine Mardis, PhD2016 Morton K. Schwartz Award for Significant Contributions in Cancer Research Diagnostics

Dr. Mardis is the Robert E. and Louise F. Dunn Distinguished Professor of Medicine, professor of genetics and molecular microbiology, and co-director of the McDonnell Genome Institute at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. After being recruited to Washington University in 1993, she helped create methods and automation pipelines for sequencing the human genome. Her research has focused on applying next-generation sequencing to characterizing cancer genomes and transcriptomes, and using this information to support therapeutic decision-making. She co-led the teams that were the first to use next-generation sequencing to characterize the whole genome of an acute myeloid leukemia patient; sequence and compare a primary tumor to its metastasis and xenograft; and report whole genome sequencing of samples from a breast cancer clinical trial.

In addition to her work in cancer genomics, Dr. Mardis is leading efforts to devise next-generation sequencing-based diagnostics, create decision-support tools and databases, and use genomics to design personalized cancer vaccines. Dr. Mardis serves on the board of directors of the American Association for Cancer Research. She is an associate editor of Molecular Cancer Research, Disease Models and Mechanisms, and Annals of Oncology, and editor-in-chief of Molecular Case Studies.