Jay Harger

Improving Human Health by Unlocking the Power of the Genome

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Illumina was founded in 1998 and commercialized its first distributable product for the high-throughput genotyping market in 2002. With the acquisition of Solexa, Inc. in 2007, Illumina charted a new course in developing next-generation sequencing technology that has unlocked a host of applications across several markets. The speaker will discuss how Illumina’s core mission and unique culture has driven its success in delivering breakthrough capability through its sequencing and array technologies to genomics research and is transforming the way we think about complex genetic diseases and personalized medicine.

About the Speaker

Jay Harger is the senior director, clinical genomics product lifecycle management for Illumina, Inc. Harger earned his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He completed his graduate research work in 2003 at the University of Maryland under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Dinman, chair of the UMD's Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics. After graduate school, he pursued a postdoctoral research position at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., with Dr. Martha J. Fedor funded by a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Service Research Award.

In 2006, Harger joined Illumina as a member of the technical support team, eventually taking on roles of increasing responsibility building a global product support team covering all of Illumina’s products and applications. From 2013 to 2017, Harger had the opportunity to take on several short-term assignments in the supply chain organization working on warehousing and logistics projects and then assumed management of Illumina’s clinical business infrastructure programs, where he led several interdisciplinary teams’ efforts to ready Illumina for its growth in the clinical markets. Today, Harger leads the product lifecycle management team in the clinical genomics organization within product development at Illumina. He has responsibilities for lab management, sample preparation automation, assay integration, and on-market product sustaining for Illumina’s genetic health and oncology products. In his spare time, Harger is an avid cyclist and pursues his passion for philanthropic work supporting oncology research in his local community.