Chief Scientific Officer
Stephen J. O’Brien served as Chief of the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1986-2011. In December 2011, he joined the Theodosius Dobzhansky Center for Genome Bioinformatics , St. Petersburg State University as Chief Scientific Officer. His research interests and expertise span human and comparative genomics, genetic epidemiology, HIV/AIDS, retro-virology, bioinformatics biodiversity and species conservation. Dr. O’Brien served as Editor of six editions of Genetic Maps: Locus Maps of Complex Genomes (1980-1993) (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Publications); Editor of Journal of Heredity (American Genetics Association) from 1987-2007; Editor of “Atlas of Mammalian Chromosomes” (John Wiley Inc. NYC, 2006) and author of “Tears of the Cheetah And Other Tales From The Genetic Frontier” (St. Martin’s Press NYC, 2004).
Dr. O’Brien received his B.S. in Biology in 1966 from St. Francis College, which presented him with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994. In 1971 he earned a Ph.D. in Genetics from Cornell University which honored him as “Andrew Dixon White Endowed Professor at Large” in 1998. Dr. O’Brien has a strong dedication to education, evidenced by his appointments as adjunct professor at twelve universities. He has mentored more than fifteen Ph.D. students and multiple postdoctoral fellows. Since 1996 he has directed an internationally heralded short course sponsored by Smithsonian and American Genetics Association, entitled “Recent Advances in Conservation Genetics”, the most recent (2012) edition at The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute , Panama.