Richard K. Wilson, PhD

Richard Wilson

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Richard K. Wilson, PhD, is the founding executive director of the Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Nationwide Foundation Endowed Chair in Genomic Medicine, and professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He received his A.B. degree from Miami University in Ohio (Microbiology, 1981), his PhD from the University of Oklahoma (Chemistry and Biochemistry, 1986), and was a Research Fellow in the Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology. In 1990, Dr. Wilson joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine where he co-founded the Genome Sequencing Center/McDonnell Genome Institute. At Washington University, Dr. Wilson was the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Genetics, and Professor of Molecular Microbiology.

Dr. Wilson is an internationally recognized expert in molecular genetics and large-scale genomics, and his laboratories have been among the world’s leaders in genome analysis. His teams have sequenced and analyzed billions of bases of DNA from the genomes of bacteria, yeast, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, primates and humans. Dr. Wilson and his colleagues at Washington University sequenced the first animal genome – that of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans – and contributed substantially to the sequencing and analysis of the human genome. They also sequenced the genomes of the mouse, chimpanzee, orangutan, gorilla, rhesus macaque, platypus, the plants Arabidopsis thaliana and Zea mays (corn), as well as various invertebrates, insect vectors and microorganisms.

Dr. Wilson’s team was the first to sequence the complete genome of a cancer patient using next-generation sequencing and to discover genetic signatures relevant to the pathogenesis of the patient’s acute myeloid leukemia diagnosis, published in Nature in 2008. This experimental approach resulted in the sequencing and analysis of thousands of cancer and normal genomes. Dr. Wilson has been a leader in the genomic analysis of several cancer types, including pediatric cancers, and played a major role in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project. Building upon these achievements, the mission of Dr. Wilson’s institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is to utilize cutting-edge genome sequencing and analysis technology to discover clues that will lead to more effective diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other human diseases in children and adults. He has published more than 490 peer-reviewed papers and, since 2013, continually has been listed as one of the world's most cited researchers by Thomson Reuters/Clarivate ISI.

Dr. Wilson is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and continues his membership in the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society of Human Genetics. He is the co-founder and organizer of the Advances in Genome Biology & Technology (AGBT) international meeting. Dr. Wilson has received Distinguished Alumni awards from both of his alma maters.

See Richard K. Wilson’s Curriculum Vitae (CV)


Graduate School University of Oklahoma Date Completed: 12/31/1986
Undergraduate School Miami University Date Completed: 12/31/1981
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Institute for Genomic Medicine
Richard Wilson

Meet Richard Wilson, PhD: The Institute for Genomic Medicine