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Gene Network Sciences Names Departing Merck Head of Genetics Eric Schadt as Co-Chair of Scientific Advisory Board

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Gene Network Sciences, Inc. today announced that it named Dr. Eric Schadt, a leading researcher in the field of genomics-driven drug discovery, co-chair of its Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr. Schadt will be leaving his position as Executive Scientific Director of Genetics at pharmaceutical giant Merck to join forces with the departing head of Merck oncology, Dr. Stephen Friend, to create Sage, an open-access distributed data platform designed to enable collaboration by integrating the myriad of genomic data sets in the public and private domains. At Merck's Rosetta subsidiary, Dr. Schadt founded the Genetics department. His work at Merck focused on elucidating the genetic circuitry of common human diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity using novel integrative genomics approaches based on genetic and molecular profiling data. He has helped define a new field in network biology -- the genetics of gene expression, or "integrative genomics." Dr. Schadt's pioneering work in integrative genomics has been published in a series of groundbreaking papers, culminating in two seminal Nature papers in 2008 that revealed the genetic circuitry underlying obesity and metabolic disease.

Dr. Schadt is also an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington in Seattle, and he was recently appointed as a Fellow in the Institute of Synthetic and Systems Biology at Imperial College London. Prior to joining Rosetta, Dr. Schadt was a Senior Research Scientist at Roche Bioscience. He received his B.S. in applied mathematics/computer science from California Polytechnic State University, his M.A. in pure mathematics from UCD, and his Ph.D. in bio-mathematics from UCLA.

"I am looking forward to the opportunity to assist GNS in their efforts to accelerate the medical impact that is starting to be reaped from the emerging field of integrative genomics," said Dr. Schadt. "Among biosimulation companies, GNS's REFS(TM) platform is the best available technology to turn integrative genomics data into actionable knowledge for drug discovery and development."

Dr. Schadt will join renowned computational biologist Dr. James Collins of Boston University to serve together as co-chairs of GNS's Scientific Advisory Board.

"We are pleased to welcome the world's leading expert on the application of integrative genomics in pharmaceutical drug discovery," said Colin Hill, CEO of GNS. "The addition of Dr. Schadt to our Scientific Advisory Board exemplifies GNS's commitment to bring together the best scientific minds and technology to use supercomputer-driven modeling and simulation approaches to transform drug discovery and development and bring breakthrough treatments to patients in need."

About Gene Network Sciences

Gene Network Sciences ( is a leader in biosimulation with its ability to derive molecular mechanisms of drugs and diseases directly from molecular profiling and clinical data. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Ithaca, New York, GNS uses its REFS(TM) technology in pharmaceutical and healthcare settings to rapidly turn combinations of genetic, genomic, and clinical measurements into models of disease progression and drug response. These models are then simulated to discover both new targets for drug intervention and genetic markers of drug response that allow patients who will respond to a given drug treatment to be matched to a particular clinical trial and treatment option. By discovering how and why specific sets of genes and drug candidates impact human biology, GNS technology enables the rapid development of breakthrough drug and diagnostic products and the matching of patients to the optimal therapy.

SOURCE Gene Network Sciences, Inc.
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