Brad Popovich, Chief Scientific Officer, Genome BC

Brad Popovich, Chief Scientific Officer, Genome BC

Brad PopovichBrad Popovich completed his MSc degree in Genetic Counseling from Sarah Lawrence College in 1978 and became one of the first genetic counselors to immigrate to Canada. He went on to complete an MSc and PhD in biochemical and molecular genetics respectively, at McGill University, completing his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Oliver Smithies. During his graduate training period he was focused on the application of genomic technologies to the diagnosis and management of human disease.

After completing his graduate and post doctoral training Brad became the founding director of the San Diego Children’s Hospital DNA Diagnostic Laboratory in 1989 and was responsible for the translation of several new genetic research findings into clinical practice. These genetic tests include: cystic fibrosis, Duchene muscular dystrophy, Becker muscular dystrophy, fragile X syndrome, and myotonic dystrophy. He was also a pioneer in the forensic use of DNA while in San Diego and his laboratory was the first in the US to offer solely DNA-based paternity testing.

In 1992, Brad joined Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and became the founding director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at OHSU Hospital where he was responsible for translating genetic research findings into clinical tests used by referring physicians. The menu of services offered in his clinical laboratory at OHSU was one of the most comprehensive of any academic based institution in the US. In 1997 he was granted tenure and became the first Executive Director of the Genetic Service Laboratories at OHSU offering a complete suite of medical genomic laboratory services and providing academic training for a variety of researchers and clinicians. The work of his trainees resulted in many peer reviewed publications in the area of diagnosis and molecular pathology of diseases.

Other academic accomplishments include: coauthoring the first comprehensive genetic privacy legislation passed into US law (Oregon 1995); helping to develop quality assurance guidelines for medical laboratories developing disease specific practice guidelines for clinicians performing DNA based clinical testing; and assisting in the prosecution/defense of several criminal cases using DNA based forensic evidence.

Brad left OHSU in 2001 to work in the private sector when he joined Xenon Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver, BC) where he was employed from 2001-2005. He then moved to Sirius Genomics where he was the Chief Operating Officer (2005) and President and Chief Executive Officer from 2006-2009.

Brad presently serves on the boards of Sirius Genomics, Centre for Drug Research and Development Ventures and Genetic Information Management Systems. He recently served on the boards of DNA Direct, Tm Biosciences, the American College of Medical Genetics, and American College of Medical Genetics Foundation.