Stephen W. Scherer, PhD, DSc, FRSC
Bio: One of the most highly cited scientists in the world, Dr. Scherer and his team contributed to the landmark discovery of global gene copy number variation (CNV), as a common form of genetic variation in human DNA. Defining CNV revealed that genes often don’t exist in pairs of two along chromosomes, as was originally thought. His group then identified that CNV affecting specific neurodevelopmental genes are associated with autism, and many other related disorders. He founded the Database of Genomic Variants that facilitates thousands of clinical diagnoses each day. He also directs the massive Autism Speaks MSSNG ‘open science’ project sequencing the genomes of 10,000 families to catalyze autism research worldwide. Dr. Scherer has won numerous honors, including the Steacie Prize, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholarship, and the Premier’s Summit Award for Medical Research. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. In 2014, he was selected as a Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate in the field of Physiology or Medicine for “the discovery of large-scale CNV and its association with specific diseases.” Dr. Scherer holds the GSK-CIHR Endowed Chair in Genome Sciences at The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto (UofT), and is Director of the UofT McLaughlin Centre and The Centre for Applied Genomics at SickKids.