Board of Directors


Stephen H. Friend MD PhD — Chairman, Co-Founder and Past-President of Sage Bionetworks

Dr. Friend is the Chairman of the Board and Past-President of Sage Bionetworks, a non-profit organization that provides the tools and environment to conduct dynamic, large-scale collaborative biomedical research. He is an authority in the field of cancer biology and a pioneer in the field of the genetics of gene expression, integrating system biology approaches to complex diseases. Dr. Friend co-founded Sage Bionetworks in 2009 on the belief that successful biomedical research requires the active participation of all stakeholders. Through Sage Bionetworks, he has worked to reimagine the role of citizens in the research process and to build the tools to empower citizens to contribute both their data and expertise as they see fit. Under his leadership, Sage Bionetworks has developed an open-source technology platform, called Synapse, for data-intensive analysis, sharing and reuse, enabling researchers to perform cutting edge computational biology and research by iteratively generating and testing novel hypotheses transparently and collaboratively. Sage Bionetworks has engaged the community to crowd-source solutions to complex biomedical questions through targeted DREAM challenges, and has expanded efforts in patient centered research through its mobile health initiatives.

Dr. Friend is currently in a full time role at Apple Inc. where he works on ways to impact people’s lives in health and disease. Prior to co-founding and leading Sage as President, Dr. Friend was Senior Vice President and Franchise Head for Oncology Research at Merck & Co., Inc. where he led Merck’s Basic Cancer Research efforts. Formerly Dr. Friend along with Dr. Hartwell founded and co-led the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s “Seattle Project”, an advanced institute for drug discovery and later they co-founded Rosetta Inpharmatics with Drs Hartwell and Hood. Dr. Friend also held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School from 1987 to 1995 and at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1990 to 1995. He received his M.D/Ph.D. from Indiana University. Dr. Friend was named an Ashoka Fellow for his work at Sage Bionetworks.

Eric E. Schadt, PhD — Co-Founder, Director and Chair of Sage Bionetworks Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Schadt is the Director of the Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, Chair of the Department of Genetics and Genomics Sciences and the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is an industry leader in network biology with a number of high-profile publications over the past 5 years and is the Editor-in-Chief of the new journal Open Network Biology. Dr. Schadt helped start Sage Bionetworks while Executive Scientific Director, Genetics at Rosetta Inpharmatics where he founded its Research Genetics Department after Rosetta was acquired by Merck in 2001. His extensive applications in systems biology have helped define the genetics of gene expression as a new field in statistical genetics. Prior to joining Rosetta Dr. Schadt was a Senior Research Scientist at Roche Bioscience. He received his B.S. in applied mathematics/computer science from California Polytechnic State University, and his M.A. in pure mathematics and his Ph.D. in bio-mathematics from UCLA.

Anthony W. Ford-Hutchinson PhD — Director of Sage Bionetworks

Dr. Ford-Hutchinson is Senior Vice President, Vaccines Research and Development Merck Research Laboratories. He has a 30 year record of success at Merck & Co., Inc. and was Senior Vice President and Site Head of Merck Frosst Canada during the development of Singulair® for the treatment of adult and pediatric asthma and allergic rhinitis and the discovery of selective COX-2 inhibitors for the treatment of osteoarthritis and pain. Before joining Merck he was a lecturer in the Chemical Pathology Department at Kings College Hospital Medical School in London doing leukotriene and prostaglandin research. Dr. Ford-Hutchinson obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, a Masters Degree in Molecular Enzymology from the University of Warwick, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of London.

Jeff Hammerbacher — Director of Sage Bionetworks

Jeff Hammerbacher is a founder and the Chief Scientist of Cloudera. Jeff was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Accel Partners immediately prior to founding Cloudera. Before Accel, he conceived, built, and led the Data team at Facebook. The Data team was responsible for driving many of the applications of statistics and machine learning at Facebook, as well as building out the infrastructure to support these tasks for massive data sets. The Data team produced open source projects such as Hive and Cassandra and their work was recognized at conferences such as CHI, ICWSM, SIGMOD, and VLDB. Before joining Facebook, Jeff was a quantitative analyst on Wall Street. Jeff earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Harvard University and recently served as a Contributing Editor for O’Reilly’s “Beautiful Data”.

Gustavo A Stolovitzky, PhD — Director of Sage Bionetworks

Dr. Gustavo Stolovitzky is the Director of the Translational Systems Biology and Nano-biotechnology Program at IBM Research, and an adjunct Professor at Columbia University and at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He has led many industry projects at IBM Research while also being heavily involved in academic pursuits through University collaborations. In 2006 Dr. Stolovitzky founded and since 2013 co-leads (along with Stephen Friend) the DREAM Challenges, a joint effort by DREAM and Sage Bionetworks that nucleates a community of researchers to assess the performance of systems biology methods, to foster collaborative models of research and to accelerate the solution of important translational problems. Dr. Stolovitzky is also a co-organizer of the “RECOMB/ISCB Systems and Regulatory Genomics with DREAM challenges” conference series, which has nucleated thousands of attendees over the past 7 years. Besides the organization of scientific challenges, Dr Stolovitzky has published over 120 papers and patented over 20 inventions on high-throughput biological-data analysis, reverse engineering biological circuits, the mathematical modeling of biological processes and nano-biotechnology.

Dr. Stolovitzky joined IBM Research in 1998. Previously he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Studies in Physics and Biology at The Rockefeller University. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University (1994) and his M.Sc. in Physics, from the University of Buenos Aires (1987). Dr Stolovitzky has received Yale University’s Henry Prentiss Becton Prize award (1994), the HENAAC’s Pioneer Award for Great Minds in STEM (2013), the World Technology Awards (2013), and was distinguished as a Master Inventor in IBM Research (2013). Dr. Stolovitzky has been elected Fellow of the NY Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the World Technology Network, Fellow of the American Physical Society and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences.

Eric Topol, MD — Director of Sage Bionetworks

Dr. Eric Topol is a Professor of Genomics at the Scripps Research Institute, the Chief Academic Officer for Scripps Health, and the Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI). Voted as the #1 Most Influential Physician Executive in the United States in a national poll conducted by Modern Healthcare, Dr. Topol works on genomic and wireless digital innovative technologies to reshape the future of medicine. He is a practicing cardiologist at Scripps in La Jolla, California and widely credited for leading the Cleveland Clinic to become the #1 center for heart care. While there he also started a new medical school, led many worldwide clinical trials to advance care for patients with heart disease, and spearheaded the discovery of multiple genes that increase susceptibility for heart attacks. Since 2006, in La Jolla, he leads the flagship NIH grant supported STSI. He has published 1100 peer-reviewed articles, over 165,000 citations, elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, named in GQ Magazine as one of the Rock Stars of Science, and is one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine (Thomson Reuters, “Doctor of the Decade”). He is also Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. His bestseller book The Creative Destruction of Medicine (Basic Books) was published in 2012 and The Patient Will See You Now was just published in January 2015.