Keynote Address

Perspectives of ABRF, A Bridge from the Past to the Future

Ron Niece

Ron Niece
Consultant, Research Resources & Technologies

Ron grew up in the Midwest (Ohio) and was educated in Illinois (Blackburn College, Biology) and Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin, Genetics) where, after a post-doctoral year in Philadelphia (Institute for Cancer Research), he worked at the University of Wisconsin in the Department of Physiological Chemistry and Oncology and then started core facilities in the University of Wisconsin Biotechnology Center (UWBC).  In California, Ron joined the core facilities at the University of California, Irvine, and later ran laboratories at Meyer Pharmaceuticals, LLC.

Core facilities were rare in the 1980s.  Part of Ron’s role in the UWBC was to establish a network of core facilities like the Center’s own laboratories.  Ron and several accomplices, who also were involved in the nascent area of core facilities, pooled ideas and initially gathered as Research Resource Facilities which morphed into the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities in 1989.  The rest is history.
Thanks to the UWBC for the opportunities to help with ABRF and to all of the hundreds of people who joined me in this journey.

Chris Mason

Christopher E. Mason, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Weill Cornell Medical College

The Mason laboratory develops and deploys new biochemical and computational methods in functional genomics to elucidate the genetic basis of human disease and human physiology. We create and deploy novel techniques in next-generation sequencing and algorithms for: tumor evolution, genome evolution, DNA and RNA modifications, and genome/epigenome engineering. We also work closely with NIST/FDA to build international standards for these methods (SEQC2, IMMSA, and Epigenomics QC groups), to ensure clinical-quality genome measurements and editing. We also work with NASA to build integrated molecular portraits of genomes, epigenomes, transcriptomes, and metagenomes for astronauts, which help establish the molecular foundations and genetic defenses for enabling long-term human spaceflight.

He has won the NIH’s Transformative R01 Award, the NASA Group Achievement Award, the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance Young Investigator award, the Hirschl-Weill-Caulier Career Scientist Award, the Vallee Scholar Award, the CDC Honor Award for Standardization of Clinical Testing, and the WorldQuant Foundation Scholar Award. He was named as one of the “Brilliant Ten” Scientists by Popular Science, featured as a TEDMED speaker, and called “The Genius of Genetics” by 92Y. He has >150 peer-reviewed papers that have been featured on the covers of Nature, Science, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Microbiology, Neuron, and Genome Biology and Evolution, as well as cited by the U.S. District Court and U.S. Supreme Court. His work has also appeared on the covers of the Wall Street Journal, TIME, LA Times, New York Times, and across many media (ABC, NBC, CBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, PBS, NASA, NatGeo). He has co-founded four biotechnology start-up companies (Genome Liberty, Biotia, Pillar Health, and Shanghai MasonGene) and serves as an advisor to many others. He lives with his daughter and wife in Brooklyn, NY.