Advisory Committee Members

David Altshuler, M.D., Ph.D.

Endocrinologist and human geneticist David Altshuler is a professor of genetics and medicine at Harvard Medical School, and in the department of Molecular Biology, the Center for Human Genetic Research, and the Diabetes Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. David is one of four founding members of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and serves as the Institute’s first Deputy Director and Chief Academic Officer. He is also Director of Broad’s Program in Medical and Population Genetics.

David studies human genetic variation and its application to disease, using tools and information from the Human Genome Project. He has been a lead investigator in The SNP Consortium, the International HapMap Project, and the 1,000 Genomes Project - public-private partnerships that have created public maps of human genome sequence variation as a foundation for disease research. His work has contributed to the identification of gene variants that are associated with the risk of common conditions, including type 2 diabetes, blood cholesterol and myocardial infarction, as well as prostate cancer, systemic lupus erythematosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, as well as the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, and the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases.


Michele Caggana, Sc.D.

Dr. Caggana received her doctoral degree from the Harvard School of Public Health and completed post-doctoral work in clinical molecular genetics at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. She is board certified in clinical molecular genetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics and a fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics. Dr. Caggana has been employed by the Wadsworth Center since 1996, where she is Deputy Director of the Division of Genetics, Chief of the Laboratory of Human Genetics, and Director of the Newborn Screening Program. In addition, she serves as the Section Head for genetic testing and conducts regulatory reviews for all genetic test methods conducted by laboratories performing testing on New York State patients. Her laboratory uses DNA technology to study frequencies of specific gene mutations in dried blood spots and performs DNA analysis in the context of newborn screening.


Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Ph.D.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. An influential scholar in the field of African American Studies, he is the author of fifteen books and has hosted and produced eleven documentaries for PBS and the BBC. Professor Gates earned his MA and PhD at Clare College of the University of Cambridge, and his BA, summa cum laude, at Yale University. He is the recipient of 51 honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the MacArthur “genius grant” and the National Humanities Medal, conferred on him by President Bill Clinton in 1998. He was named to Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Americans” list in 1997 and to Ebony magazine’s “Power 150” list in 2009 and to its "Power 100" list in 2010.


Hank Greely, J.D.

Hank Greely is the Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics at Stanford University.  He specializes in ethical, legal, and social issues arising from advances in the biosciences, particularly from genetics, neuroscience, and human stem cell research.  He chairs the California Advisory Committee on Human Stem Cell Research and the steering committee of the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics, and directs the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences.  From 2007 to 2010 he was a co-director of the Law and Neuroscience Project.  In 2006, he was elected a fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science.

Professor Greely graduated from Stanford in 1974 and from Yale Law School in 1977.  He served as a law clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom on the United States Court of Appeals and for Justice Potter Stewart of the United States Supreme Court.  After working during the Carter Administration in the Departments of Defense and Energy, he entered private practice in Los Angeles in 1981 as a litigator with the law firm of Tuttle & Taylor, Inc.  He began teaching at Stanford in 1985.


Evelynn Hammonds, Ph.D.

Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds began her tenure as dean of Harvard College on June 1, 2008. Prior to her appointment as dean, she served as Harvard University’s first senior vice provost for Faculty Development and Diversity beginning in July 2005. She is also the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and of African and African American Studies.

Dean Hammonds joined the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 2002 after teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she was the founding director of the Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology and Medicine. Her scholarly interests include the history of scientific, medical, and sociopolitical concepts of race, the history of disease and public health, gender in science and medicine, and African-American history. She is the author of “Childhood's Deadly Scourge: The Campaign to Control Diphtheria in New York City, 1880-1930” and many scholarly articles.

Dean Hammonds received her B.S. in physics from Spelman College. She earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in physics from MIT, and a Ph.D. in the history of science from Harvard.  She was a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. and also served as a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer from 2003 to 2005. Currently she is an associate member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. 

Dean Hammonds serves on a number of boards including the Board of Overseers of the Museum of Science in Boston, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.  She holds an honorary doctorate of humane letters from her alma mater, Spelman College where she also serves on the Board of Trustees.  In February 2008, she was named a fellow of the Association of Women in Science (AWIS). She serves on the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE), the congressionally mandated advising committee to the National Science Foundation.


Rick Kittles, Ph.D.

Rick Kittles received a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from George Washington University in 1998.  His first faculty appointment was at Howard University where he helped establish the National Human Genome Center at Howard University. From 1997 to 2004, Dr. Kittles helped establish and coordinate a national cooperative network to study the genetics of hereditary prostate cancer in the African American community. This project, called the AAHPC study network, successfully recruited over 100 African American hereditary prostate cancer families and serves as a model for recruitment of African Americans in genetic studies of complex diseases. Dr. Kittles is well known for his research of prostate cancer and health disparities among African Americans. He has also been at the forefront of the development of ancestry-informative genetic markers, and how genetic ancestry can be used to map genes for common traits and disease.

Kittles co-founded African Ancestry, Inc., a private company that provides DNA testing services for tracing African genetic lineages to genealogists and the general public around the world. Kittles was recently named in Ebony magazine’s “The Ebony Power 100.” Ebony selected the nation's top 100 African-American "power players" in sports, academia, religion, business, environment, science & tech, entertainment, arts and letters, fashion, politics, media, activism and health.

His work on tracing the genetic ancestry of African Americans has brought light to many issues, new and old, which relate to race, ancestry, identity, and group membership. Dr. Kittles’ high profile research and his strong ability to communicate genetic concepts and issues eloquently and understandably to the lay public has been featured over the past decade in five PBS and BBC network documentaries related to human biological diversity, race and disease. His work has been featured on CNN and the CBS show ‘60 Minutes’ where he was interviewed by Leslie Stahl. Dr. Kittles has published over 85 research articles on prostate cancer genetics, Race and Genetics, and health disparities. Currently, Dr. Kittles is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Associate Director of the Cancer Center, and Director of the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Steven Pinker, Ph.D.

Steven Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He conducts research on language and cognition, writes for publications such as the New York Times Time, and The New Republic, and is the author of eight books, including The Language InstinctHow the Mind WorksWords and RulesThe Blank SlateThe Stuff of Thought, and most recently The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. 


Patrick Sturgis, Ph.D.

Patrick Sturgis took a BA in psychology at the University of Liverpool before undertaking graduate work, also in psychology, at the London School of Economics. He took up a Chair in Research Methods in the Division of Social Statistics at Southampton in May 2008. Prior to that, Sturgis spent seven years in the department of sociology at the University of Surrey and three years in the Survey Methods Centre at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).

Dr. Sturgis’s research interests are in the areas of public opinion and political behaviour, particularly with regard to social and political trust and social capital. He also has interests in processes of inter and intra-generational social mobility and public attitudes towards and engagement with science and technology. Methodologically, Sturgis’s interests are in the areas of survey methodology and statistical modeling, with a particular focus on structural equation models and models for the analysis of repeated measures data. He is the Director of the UK National Centre for Research Methods, President of the European Survey Research Association, and Principal Investigator on the Wellcome Monitor of Public Attitudes, Knowledge, and Engagement in Biomedical Science.