Alex Lash

Chief Informatics Officer at Simons Foundation

Alex Lash

Alex Lash

Chief Informatics Officer at Simons Foundation

Biography

Alex Lash joined the Simons Foundation in March 2012 to lead the further development and dissemination of the foundation’s extensive scientific data assets — particularly those related to autism spectrum disorders — as well as to oversee the automation of its scientific administration infrastructure and develop metrics of funding impact.

Lash was at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York from 2003 to 2012, where he was a laboratory member in the computational biology program and scientific director of the bioinformatics core facility. By 2012, he had overseen the growth of the bioinformatics core to include more than a dozen doctoral- and masters-level personnel who provided research support services in the areas of high-throughput sequence and microarray data analysis, high-performance computing, bioinformatics training and research software development.

From 1998 to 2003, at the height of the human genome sequencing initiative, Lash was a staff scientist at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. At NCBI, Lash lead a group that was responsible for creating the national repository for public gene expression data. Later, the scope of the repository was expanded to include the data generated from a spectrum of high-throughput microarray platforms, such as array comparative genome hybridization, as well as proteomics data. While at NCBI, Lash received several awards from the National Library of Medicine and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Lash has an M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and completed his residency training in anatomic pathology in 1998 at the National Cancer Institute, where he was recognized by the Arthur Purdy Stout Society of Surgical Pathologists. Lash also has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of California at Irvine. He has been programming in various computer languages since his early teens and has a passion for using information technology to improve human efficiency and reduce the likelihood and impact of human error.

Overview
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1032

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Chief Scientist at Simons Foundation

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Co-Founder at Simons Foundation

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Co-Founder at Simons Foundation

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Chief Financial Officer at Simons Foundation

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Director at Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

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Editor-in-Chief, Spectrum at Simons Foundation

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Editor-in-Chief, Quanta Magazine at Simons Foundation

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Controller at Simons Foundation

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Director, Center for Computational Mathematics, Flatiron Institute at Simons Foundation

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Director, Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative at Simons Foundation

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Alex Lash
Chief Informatics Officer at Simons Foundation
Education
MD

Baylor College of Medicine is a health sciences university that creates knowledge and applies science and discoveries to further education, healthcare and community service locally and globally.

Bachelor's Degree, Biological Sciences

University of California, Irvine is a public research university located in Irvine, California and one of the 10 general campuses in the University of California (UC) system. UCI's Orange County campus is the fifth-largest in the UC system. UC Irvine is considered a Public Ivy and became a member of the Association of American Universities in 1996, and is the youngest university to hold membership. It also administers the UC Irvine Medical Center, a large teaching hospital; the UC Irvine Health Sciences system in the City of Orange; the University of California, Irvine, Arboretum; and a portion of the University of California Natural Reserve System.

Career History
Chief Informatics Officer
Current

Founded in 1994, the Simons Foundation is a charitable organization located in New York City. They focus on supporting outstanding individual researchers and institutions that are seeking funding for advanced work in the basic sciences and mathematics, with a major emphasis on autism research.

Scientist
1998 - 2003

NIH is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world, creating hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs by funding thousands of scientists in universities and research institutions in every state across America and around the globe. NIH is made up of 27 Institutes and Centers, each with a specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems. NIH leadership plays an active role in shaping the agency's research planning, activities, and outlook. The Office of the Director is the central office at NIH, responsible for setting policy for NIH and for planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all the NIH components. The NIH Director, with a unique and critical perspective on the entire agency, is responsible for providing leadership to the Institutes and for constantly identifying needs and opportunities, especially for efforts that involve multiple Institutes. The NIH Director is assisted by the NIH Deputy Directors including the Principal Deputy Director, who shares in the overall direction of the agency's activities. NIH is responsive to Congressional legislation that adjusts NIH's programs to meet changing research needs. As a result of the NIH reauthorization process, NIH is able to respond strategically in an era when medical research requires constant innovation and increased interdisciplinary efforts. More than 80% of the NIH's budget goes to more than 300,000 research personnel at over 2,500 universities and research institutions. In addition, about 6,000 scientists work in NIH’s own Intramural Research laboratories, most of which are on the NIH main campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The main campus is also home to the NIH Clinical Center, the largest hospital in the world totally dedicated to clinical research. Successful biomedical research depends on the talent and dedication of the scientific workforce. NIH supports many innovative training programs and funding mechanisms that foster scientific creativity and exploration. The goal is to strengthen our nation’s research capacity, broaden our research base, and inspire a passion for science in current and future generations of researchers. NIH encourages and depends on public involvement in federally supported research and activities. NIH’s wide-ranging public efforts include outreach and education, nationwide events, requests for public input on NIH projects, and special programs designed specifically to involve public representatives in clinical research

Scientific Director, BioInformatics Core Facility
2003 - 2012

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center — the world's oldest and largest private cancer center — has devoted more than 125 years to exceptional patient care, innovative research, and outstanding educational programs. Today, we are one of 41 National Cancer Institute–designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, with state-of-the-art science flourishing side by side with clinical studies and treatment. The close collaboration between our physicians and scientists is one of our unique strengths, enabling us to provide patients with the best care available as we work to discover more-effective strategies to prevent, control, and ultimately cure cancer in the future. Our education programs train future physicians and scientists, and the knowledge and experience they gain at Memorial Sloan-Kettering has an impact on cancer treatment and biomedical research around the world.

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