Susan Tousi
Senior Vice President of Product Development at Illumina, Inc. 

Title: Advancing Genomics through Integrated Informatics

Abstract: Due to advances in nanofabrication, chemistry, protein engineering, and optical systems, we are generating volumes of genomic sequence data at a rate never seen before.  In fact, we have only begun to scratch the surface having sequenced less than 0.01% of all species on Earth, and less than 0.02% of the human population. These sequences can help us identify pathogenic species for health and food safety, rapidly diagnose babies with rare genetic diseases, inform therapeutic decisions for patients facing a cancer diagnosis, tell us about who we are, where we came from, and how we can better manage our own health. As incredible as these insights are, they are based on characterizations of less than 1% of the human genome. The complexity and volume of genomic information will require multiple sophisticated and scalable computational methods along the way from a tissue sample to a scientific breakthrough in order to achieve a more complete understanding of the contribution of the genome to biology. The integration of large-scale genomic sequencing power with advanced informatics, including a common data sharing framework and AI capabilities, is a critical next frontier in the mission to fully unlock the power of the genome to advance human health. 

Bio: Susan Tousi is Senior Vice President of Product Development at Illumina, Inc., a company on a mission to improve human health by unlocking the power of the genome through delivering market and technology leading DNA sequencers. Illumina is a global company headquartered in San Diego, California. Susan is responsible for Illumina’s global engineering, consumables, sequencing applications, software and informatics development efforts, ensuring Illumina’s scientists and engineers continue the culture of innovation and product excellence that has been a hallmark of Illumina.

Susan has more than 25-years of R&D and business leadership at Fortune 100 technology companies and within the life sciences industry. Formerly, Susan was as a Corporate Vice President and General Manager for Eastman Kodak’s Consumer Inkjet Systems organization. Prior to joining Kodak, Susan was an R&D program manager for Phogenix Imaging LLC, a joint venture start-up of Hewlett-Packard and Kodak. She previously spent 10 years with Hewlett-Packard in technical and management roles.

Susan holds an MBA degree from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Pennsylvania State University. Along with many academic honors, in 2018, Susan was elected to the National Academy of Engineers, one of our nation’s “highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.”