Sir Peter Donnelly
CEO and founder, Genomics plc; professor of statistical science, Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford

Peter Donnelly is CEO of Genomics plc. He is also professor of statistical science at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, where he was also director from 2007-2017. Peter is an international leader in human and statistical genetics, and has played a leading role in the explosion of our knowledge of genetic variants associated with human diseases and traits. He has been centrally involved in major national and international genetics projects including the HapMap project (the successor to the Human Genome Project), and he led the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (a large international consortium studying the genetic basis of more than 20 common human diseases/conditions in more than 60,000 people). In addition to his work in understanding the genetic basis of human diseases, Peter has used genetic data to learn about the demographic history of human populations.

In 2014, Peter founded Genomics plc with three of his colleagues and later became the company’s CEO. The company develops and applies statistical and machine learning algorithms to its large data platform, linking human genetic variation to changes in disease susceptibility and other biological measurements, and offering a powerful route to understanding human biology. The company exploits this in two directions – identifying novel drug targets, and in clinical medicine to improve risk prediction for healthy individuals. This allows earlier interventions, more efficient screening and better diagnoses. Peter has received numerous awards for his research, including a knighthood. He lectures around the world, and has given a TED Talk, which has been viewed online more than a million times. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and he is an honorary fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.

Follow Peter on Twitter: @genemodeller


Sunday 3 November, 12:00 Auditorium 1
Health and genomics: what’s the score with polygenic scores?