Dr Harold Swerdlow is VP of Technology Innovation at the New York Genome Centre and is a leading expert in next-generation sequencing (NGS). In his role at the New York Genome Centre, Dr Swerdlow directs the Technology Innovation group, which is focused on novel sample-preparation methodologies for NGS including single-cell methods. Previously he was Head of Research and Development for the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (“the Sanger Institute”) in Cambridgeshire.
In his role at the Sanger Institute, Dr Swerdlow directed the R&D department. Dr Swerdlow also helped build the Sanger Institute’s next-generation DNA-sequencing production facility into one of the world’s largest. Previously, he was the Chief Technology Officer of Dolomite Ltd., a leader in microfluidics and microfabrication. Prior to Dolomite, Dr Swerdlow was an inventor of core technology relating to NGS at Solexa Ltd., a company which he joined when it had only three employees. Dr Swerdlow helped launch Solexa’s first product, the Genome Analyzer DNA sequencing platform. At Solexa, Dr Swerdlow was responsible for instrument engineering, integration of the next-generation DNA sequencing system and early applications work, along with assisting in the development of many of the biochemical components. He was a key member of the Senior Management team that delivered Solexa’s first genome sequence, an end-to-end proof-of-principle. Following its NASDAQ listing, Solexa was acquired by Illumina Inc. for US$600 million and Solexa’s technology became the core of Illumina’s world-leading NGS products.