Plenary Speakers

Learn more about the keynote speakers who will be presenting at this year’s annual meeting.

  • Wednesday, March 6: Thomas R. Insel, MD, President and Co-Founder, Mindstrong Health
  • Thursday, March 7: Heidi Rehm, PhD, FACMG, Co-Leader, Broad Center for Mendelian Genomics
  • Friday, March 8: Sharon Terry, President and CEO, Genetic Alliance

Thomas R. Insel, MD

Thomas R. Insel, MD, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, is a co-founder and President of Mindstrong Health. From 2002-2015, Dr. Insel served as Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) committed to research on mental disorders. Prior to serving as NIMH Director, Dr. Insel was Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University where he was founding director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience in Atlanta. Most recently (2015 – 2017), he led the Mental Health Team at Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) in South San Francisco, CA. Dr. Insel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has received numerous national and international awards including honorary degrees in the U.S. and Europe.


Heidi Rehm, PhD, FACMG

Heidi Rehm is the Chief Genomics Officer in the Department of Medicine and at the Center for Genomic Medicine, the Medical Director of the Broad Institute Clinical Research Sequencing Platform and Professor of Pathology. She is a board-certified laboratory geneticist and principal investigator of ClinGen, defining standards and creating resources to support genomic medicine. Rehm also co-leads the Broad Center for Mendelian Genomics with Daniel MacArthur, focused on discovering novel rare disease genes.


Sharon Terry

Sharon F. Terry is President and CEO of Genetic Alliance, an enterprise engaging individuals, families and communities to transform health.  Genetic Alliance works to provide programs, products and tools for ordinary people to take charge of their health and to further biomedical research.

As ‘just a Mom’ with a master’s degree in theology, she cofounded PXE International, a research advocacy organization for the genetic condition pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), in response to the diagnosis of PXE in her two children in 1994.  With her husband, she co-discovered the ABCC6 gene, patented it to ensure ethical stewardship in 2000, and assigned their rights to the foundation.  She subsequently developed a diagnostic test and conducts clinical trials.  She is the author of 150 peer-reviewed papers, of which 30 are clinical PXE studies. Her story is the topic of her TED Talk and TED Radio Hour.

In her focus at the forefront of consumer participation in genetic research, services and policy, she serves in a leadership role on many of the major international and national organizations, including the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Advisory Panel; Accelerating Medicines Partnership; the Cures Acceleration Network Review Board, and the Advisory Council, National Center for Accelerating Translation Science, NIH; National Academy of Medicine Board on Health Science Policy, the Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health, and the Regenerative Medicine Forum; the PhenX scientific advisory board; the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health; the International Rare Disease Research Consortium Executive Committee; and as Founding President of EspeRare Foundation of Geneva, Switzerland. She is Co-PI of the PCORnet Coordinating Center and Chair of the PCORnet Engagement Committee. She was a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel’s Working Group on Enhanced Data Sharing for the Cancer Moonshot. She received the Health 2.0 Health Activist award in 2016. In 2017, she co-founded the People Centered Research Foundation.

Terry is an Ashoka Fellow. She is an avid student and facilitator of Gestalt Awareness Practice. With her husband Patrick, she paraglides, runs, and dreams of spending more time writing and reflecting.