Dr. Harold Swerdlow is currently Special Projects Lead at ONI (Oxford Nanoimaging) working on novel next-generation sequencing (NGS) applications of their state-of-the-art fluorescent super-resolution microscope, the Nanoimager. He is a leading expert in NGS and recently served as Head of NGS Technology Development at LGC Genomics. As VP of Sequencing at the New York Genome Centre, Dr. Swerdlow directed the Technology Innovation group, which focused on sample-preparation methodologies for NGS, including single-cell methods.
He also managed the production facility (with about 30 Illumina sequencers including 5 of the newest NovaSeq instruments) and the clinical laboratory. Prior to NYGC, Dr. Swerdlow was Head of Research and Development for the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (“Sanger Centre”) in Cambridge, UK. In his role at the Sanger Institute, Dr. Swerdlow directed the R&D department and helped build the Sanger Institute’s next-generation DNA-sequencing production facility into one of the world’s largest. Previously, Dr. Swerdlow was the Chief Technology Officer of Dolomite Ltd., a leader in microfluidics and microfabrication. Prior to Dolomite, Dr. Swerdlow was an inventor of the core technology relating to NGS at Solexa Ltd., a company which he joined when it had only three employees. As Senior Director of Research, 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 system’s biochemical components. Dr. Swerdlow 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.