Dr. Richard Gibbs was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University and the Peter MaCallum Cancer Institute in 1986. Gibbs moved to the USA where he performed key work on the molecular characterization of human genetic disease and the development of methods for mutation detection. He provided an early leadership role for the Human Genome Project (HGP) and in 1997 founded the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center (HGSC), in Houston, Texas. Under his leadership the HGSC was one of five main groups to complete the HGP, and since has completed the genomes of many other species. The HGSC now employs approximately 200 staff with 25 Ph.D.s. Subsequently the group has both contributed to major international large scale genetics projects and focused upon the analysis of individual personal human genomes, including the Watson, Tutu and Lupski genome projects. In 2007 the HGSC began to systematically analyze genes and genomes involved in somatic mutations in cancer. Since then the group has been a major data producer for the national cancer genome programs. His group has been a major force in developing the entire field of genomics and has led efforts to use genomics in medicine. In 2011 the HGSC collaborated with the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics at BCM to create the first Genetics Diagnostics Laboratory based on whole gene sequencing. This has been tremendously successful and has grown so that more than 200 families per month are now receiving clinical data from complete gene sequencing. He served on the Advisory Council of the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute and has been the recipient of several awards and prizes. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2011, named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2011 and recognized as one of the 400 most influential biomedical scientists in the world in 2013 (Eur J. Clin. Invest. 2014).
Gibbs currently holds the rank and title of the Wofford Cain Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics and Director of the HGSC.