Responsible for the Laboratory’s global vision, strategic direction, research and operations
Internationally recognized human geneticist and demonstrated leader in academic, pharma and biotech research, Lon Cardon, Ph.D., FMedSci, joined The Jackson Laboratory as president and chief executive officer in November 2021. Previously, he was chief scientific officer and chief scientific strategy officer at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., a rare disease biotechnology company, where he led a strategic repositioning from ultra-rare genetic diseases to broader genetic disorders between 2017 and 2021. Before his role at BioMarin, from 2008 to 2017 Cardon was senior vice president and head of genetics, quantitative sciences and alternative discovery/development at GlaxoSmithKline plc. In addition to division management responsibilities, he was chair of GSK’s Discovery Investment Board, overseeing research funding across all therapeutic areas.
Prior to this, Cardon spent the first half of his career as a senior academic. From 1998 to 2006 he was a faculty member at the University of Oxford, initially as head of bioinformatics and statistical genetics at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, and later as a Wellcome Trust principal fellow and professor of bioinformatics. From 2006 to 2008, he was a professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington and co-chair of the Herbold Bioinformatics Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
Cardon conducted his Ph.D. research at the Institute for Behavior Genetics at the University of Colorado Boulder and received his postdoctoral training in the department of mathematics at Stanford University. His research groups were involved in many of the large international genetics initiatives that helped to create the present global genomics research infrastructure, including the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium which he co-founded and which yielded the first Genome-Wide Association Studies. His academic groups discovered dozens of genes for common and rare diseases and his industry groups advanced broad portfolios in large pharmaceutical and mid-size biotechnology companies, from exploratory research to phase I-III clinical trials.
Cardon has chaired and served on numerous public and private boards in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Europe and has authored more than 225 scientific publications and 15 books and chapters, mainly focused on genetics methodology, applications, and discoveries in rare and common diseases. He is an elected fellow of the United Kingdom’s Academy of Medical Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.