Thomas Caskey, a professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor School of Medicine and founder of the school’s Medical Genetics Laboratories, was recently named senior vice president for medical science and diagnostics at NextCODE Health, which is developing a system for the application of genome sequence data and the improvement of medicine. In addition, Caskey will also serve as the founding member and chair of NextCODE’s scientific advisory board.
NextCODE is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company that aims to provide physicians and researchers worldwide with the possibility of improving both diagnosis and disease treatment through its genome sequencing data system. Its concept is a combination of the only whole-genome analysis system developed at population-scale and the largest clinical genetics reference database in the world, which enables the improvement of accuracy and efficiency in the results. The company chose Caskey to advance their concept based on his long, proven career in the field of genomics, believing that his expertise will advance their research and development.
“We are thrilled to welcome Tom on board at such an exciting point in the growth of our business and in the medical application of genomics that he has pioneered,” said the president and CSO of NextCODE, Jeffrey Gulcher, MD, PhD. “Tom’s leadership runs from pathbreaking gene discovery through clinical genomics and drug development. His scientific and medical insight will be invaluable across the full range of fields in which our technology promises to advance better healthcare.”
“Sequencing has been solved, and NextCODE’s technology has all of the capabilities needed to bring that data swiftly into widespread clinical use,” said Caskey. “That means a data architecture that can rapidly deliver analysis at scale, accurate diagnosis, and interpretation backed by the best reference sets. Only NextCODE does all that today, and my task is to help get these capabilities into the hands of the institutions and doctors around the world who are using genomics to improve patient outcomes.”
At BCM, Caskey is one of the researchers responsible for developing a major exome sequencing project conducted on volunteers from the Houston Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), as a way of collecting data for “control” and to give volunteers the ability to find out information about their own health. Caskey’s work is widely recognized, and for the 50th anniversary of the discovery of human genetic code, the professor published a comment in a 2014 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reflecting on this major milestone in the genetics field and the evolution of the field ever since.