President and Chief Executive Officer
“Coriell’s relatively small size of about 120 employees allows us to be both nimble and enterprising in a way that isn’t possible in a larger organization. I find that very refreshing and exciting.”
Michael Christman, PhD, is president and chief executive officer of the Coriell Institute for Medical Research. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Mike is guiding Coriell on new ventures in emerging science that will both further the Institute's research and add to the breadth of services it provides to scientists worldwide.
In 2007, Mike initiated the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative® (CPMC®), a research study evaluating the utility of using the knowledge of genetics in medicine. The CPMC project now involves more than 7,500 participants in 48 states, multiple hospital partners, and numerous collaborators such as the University of Pennsylvania, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Boston University, Stanford University, Ohio State University and the United States Air Force. As a leader in the exploration of genomics, Coriell is paving the way toward the development of personalized medicine. In January of 2013 Coriell partnered with IBM to launch a for-profit spin off company, Coriell Life Sciences, to store and interpret human genome data in clinical settings.
Under Mike's leadership Coriell has also established a federally-funded Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell lab. This remarkable technology allows a skin or blood cell to be coaxed into becoming nearly any cell type in the body, opening new avenues for research, drug discovery and, eventually, therapy.
Mike is an expert in genetics and genomics, with a focus on the integration of genome information into the delivery of clinical care. Prior to joining Coriell, he served as professor and founding chair of the Department of Genetics and Genomics for Boston University School of Medicine. There he led an international team of scientists in one of the first genome-wide association studies using the Framingham Heart Study cohort, published in Science magazine in 2006. Recently Mike collaborated with Dr. Charles Rotimi of the NIH to perform one of the first genome-wide association studies on an African American cohort, the Howard University Family Study.
Mike received his bachelor's degree in chemistry with honors from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In addition to his membership of the Genetics Society of America, Mike serves on the New Jersey Technology Council Board of Directors and the WHYY Scientific Advisory Board.