Press Release February 03, 2015

Two Jackson Laboratory researchers named to chairs in genomics, computational biology

Bar Harbor, Maine – Jackson Laboratory Professors Gary Churchill, Ph.D., and Yijun Ruan, Ph.D., have been appointed to new chairs in genomics and computational biology: Churchill as the Karl Gunnar Johansson Chair and Ruan as the Florine Deschenes Roux Chair.

Both professorships were established by a 2014 gift to JAX by David and Barbara Roux, and are part of the Roux Family Center for Genomics and Computational Biology.  

JAX President and CEO Edison Liu, M.D., comments, “These appointments to Drs. Churchill and Ruan recognize their achievements as innovators in their fields, and as valued colleagues in our JAX community of scholars.”

Churchill, who joined the JAX faculty in 1998, applies a systems approach to studying the genetics of health and disease, developing new statistical methods and models to precisely characterize the genetic architecture of disease and complex disease-related traits. 

Ruan, the first scientist to join the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine faculty in 2012, will expand his research in developing new and powerful genomic approaches to uncovering the complex biology of genomes. His research on the three-dimensional dynamics of the human genome uses novel technologies that he developed, and is paving the way for a structural explanation of coordinated gene expression and of recurrent cancer rearrangements. 

“While these are the first named professorships at JAX,” Liu says, “they will undoubtedly not be the last. We are excited to put the Roux family’s historic gift to work in supporting two of our most inventive and dynamic faculty members.”

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif., and a new genomic medicine institute in Farmington, Conn. It employs 1,600 staff, and its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.


Download photo of Gary Churchill, Ph.D.

Download photo of Yijun Ruan, Ph.D.


Joyce Peterson, 207-288-6058, The Jackson Laboratory

For information on automatic email delivery of news releases (journalists only), please send an email request for details to Please address other inquiries to

Media Relations, Communications Office

The Jackson Laboratory
600 Main Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609-1500
Phone: 207-288-6058 (journalists only)
Main Jackson Laboratory phone: 207-288-6000 
Fax: 207-288-6076