by Buck Institute

The Buck Institute and Phenome Health Announce Major Strategic Partnership

Famed Scientist Lee Hood will co-direct the Center for Phenomic Health at the Buck


The Buck Institute for Research on Aging and Phenome Health are joining forces in the quest to understand the biology of aging. Phenome Health, a Seattle-based nonprofit research organization led by CEO Lee Hood, MD, PhD, uses a data-driven approach to health and disease that integrates diverse types of biological big data.  The new Center for Phenomic Health at the Buck will be co-led by Dr. Hood, who joins the Buck as Chief Innovation Officer and Distinguished Professor, and Eric Verdin, MD, Buck President and CEO.

Dr. Hood is a world-renowned scientist whose technology (automated DNA sequencing) paved the way for the Human Genome Project. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine. Of the more than 6,000 scientists worldwide who belong to one or more of these academies, Dr. Hood is one of only 20 people elected to all three. Dr. Hood has co-founded 17 biotech companies and the Institute of Systems Biology. His many national and international awards include the Lasker Prize, the Kyoto Prize, and the National Medal of Science. His most recent book, coauthored with long-time collaborator Dr. Nathan Price, is titled The Age of Scientific Wellness: Why the Future of Medicine is Personalized, Predictive, Data-Rich, and in Your Hands. Dr. Hood will continue to run his laboratory at the Institute for Systems Biology which he co-founded in 2000.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Hood to the Buck family as our Chief Innovation Officer and Distinguished Professor. The opportunity to form a Center with Lee Hood and his Phenome Health team will be transformational for the Buck,” said Dr. Verdin. “We believe combining the novel computational and human characterization engine of Phenome Health with the Buck’s expertise in geroscience, the biology of aging, has the power to redefine how we age and treat—or prevent altogether—the chronic diseases of aging.”

Phenome Health’s platform combines whole-genome sequencing with phenomic data, including social determinants of health, electronic health records, self-tracking data from wearables and self-assessments, cognitive and psychiatric brain assessments, and clinical samples of the blood, saliva, and microbiome. Using next-generation AI, the team integrates these data to understand the biology of aging, its associated diseases and interventions targeting the aging process. The Center will be the nexus for these two distinguished research partners to advance healthspan for everyone.  “I could not be more delighted to enter into this partnership with the Buck,” said Dr. Hood. “The Center is uniquely positioned to translate data into understanding healthy aging, ushering in scientific wellness and ultimately extending each individual’s healthspan.”

About Phenome Health:

 Phenome Health is a nonprofit research organization committed to delivering scientific innovation and enacting social change. By taking a data-driven approach to better understanding human health and biology, Phenome Health tackles some of the biggest challenges facing medicine and healthcare today aimed at increasing longevity, detecting disease, and optimizing wellness and prevention. It has assembled an ecosystem of partners and resources to employ a powerful approach to personalized population health. Phenome Health boasts a unique team of biotechnology, health, clinical, psychology, and computational technology experts across the United States.

About the Buck Institute:

The Buck’s success will ultimately change healthcare. The Buck Institute for Research on Aging aims to end the threat of age-related diseases for this and future generations by bringing together the most capable and passionate scientists from a broad range of disciplines to identify and impede the ways in which we age. An independent, nonprofit institution, its goal is to increase human healthspan, or the healthy years of life. Globally recognized as the pioneer and leader in efforts to target aging, the number one risk factor for serious chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, macular degeneration, atherosclerosis (heart attack and stroke), and type 2 diabetes, the Buck wants to help people live better longer. 

Science is showing that while chronological aging is inevitable, biological aging is malleable. There's a part of it that you can fight, and we are getting closer and closer to winning that fight.

Eric Verdin, MD, Buck Institute President and CEO

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