Staff Events

Genomic Sequencing for discovery and clinical care

Howard J. Jacob, Ph.D.
Vice President and Head Genomic Research, AbbVie, Inc.+
Founder | Board Member of Envision Genomics, Inc.*

Dr Howard Jacob headshot


Dr. Jacob is the Vice President and Head of Genomic Research at AbbVie, one of the world’s largest independent biotech companies. He is also a founder of Envision Genomics, Inc., a systems service provider that helps large clinics and hospital systems deliver genomic medicine to patients.

Throughout his career, Dr. Jacob has been a pioneer in translating research into the healthcare ecosystem, bringing genomic medicine to patients in need of answers. In 2009, Dr. Jacob and his team at the Medical College of Wisconsin were the first to use genomic sequencing to save a patient’s (Nicholas Volker) life. Working with scientists and physicians at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Dr. Jacob’s team sequenced Nicholas’ DNA to diagnose his disease and recommend a course of treatment. This treatment was successful, making Nicholas the first patient ever to be saved by genomic sequencing. Nicholas’ story was highlighted in a Pulitzer Prize winning series in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Prior to his role at AbbVie, Dr. Jacob served as the Executive Vice President for Genomic Medicine, Chief Genomics Medicine Officer and Faculty Investigator at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. He led the development of the first stand-alone clinic that utilized whole genome sequencing at HudsonAlpha and led the whole genome sequencing core for the National Institutes of Health Undiagnosed Disease Network. He also spent 19 years at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) where he was the Founding Director of the Human and Molecular Genetics Center (HMGC) and Professor of Physiology and was awarded the Warren P. Knowles Chair of Genetics. Under his leadership, the HMGC in Wisconsin grew from two faculty members to 22 and one of the top funded genetic programs in the country.

Previously, Dr. Jacob was on the faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Iowa and he completed post-doctoral fellowships in functional genomics and molecular genetics/genomics at Harvard Medical School, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

+ Dr. Jacob’s presentations at Monash are not representing AbbVie or his role at AbbVie.
* Dr. Jacob’s role as a Board Member at Envision Genomics, Inc. is currently undergoing review by both Envision Genomics, Inc. and AbbVie, Inc. respective conflict of interest committees.