Vice President, Scientific Research, Illumina Inc
At Illumina, Dr Taft leads a team of scientists focused on the deployment of genomic technologies for patients worldwide, especially the use of whole genome sequencing as a platform for genetic testing. His activities include oversight of the Illumina Clinical Services Laboratory's clinical whole genome sequencing test, pediatric and adult diagnostic trials, bioinformatic innovation and novel application development. Dr Taft also oversees a philanthropic program, iHope, which provides patients across the globe pro bono access to clinical whole genome sequencing, which, through a partnership with Genetic Alliance and a $120M in-kind donation from Illumina Inc, will scale to support tens of thousands of patients over the next five years. Dr. Taft has helped describe more than a dozen novel genetic disorders, and was one of the first to use short-read whole genome sequencing to resolve an undiagnosed disease. He is an active advisor to genomic technology companies, nonprofits and academic institutions. He holds various other industry positions including serving as non-voting member of the Genetic Alliance board, the Illumina representative at the US National Academy of Medicine's Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health, and on the steering committee of the Medical Genome Initiative. Dr Taft has received several awards, including a Biocom Life Science Catalyst Award for innovation in the life sciences and the University of Queensland's 2021 International Alumnus of the Year.