Jacques S. Beckmann

Prof. Emeritus
University of Lausanne


Jacques S. Beckmann was, from end of 2012 till end of 2016, head of clinical bioinformatics at the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. He was previously appointed, from October 2002-Sept 2012, Professor of Human Genetics and Director of the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) as well as head of the Medical Genetics Service of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV). In these functions, he has been involved in the reconstruction and consolidation of the hospital’s medical genetics service as well as the creation of a new department of Medical Genetics (altogether there were close to 100 people working in these two units).  Previously, he held a chair as Full Professor at the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. Initially trained in molecular genetics he then moved to genetics. In the 1980s, together with Prof. M. Soller from the Hebrew University, they pioneered the use of marker-assisted genetic improvement in plants and animals, focusing on Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs). His interest shifted in 1990 to human genetics with a move to Paris, where he held successively senior research positions at the CEPH, Généthon (Evry), and finally, was involved, together with Mark Lathrop, in the creation of the Centre National de Génotypage (CNG, Evry), where he served as Deputy-Director. During those years, he contributed significantly to the elaboration of genetic, physical and gene maps of the human genome, as well as to the positional cloning of a number of disease loci involved in muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. His recent research interests also included genomic disorders as well as the genetic basis of complex traits.  Prof. Beckmann has published close to 400 scientific peer-reviewed articles in molecular genetics, genetics and genomics and with about 32’000 citations (excluding self-citations) has an ISI H-index of 90 (http://www.researcherid.com/rid/A-9772-2008) or for Google Scholar over 49’000 citations and an h-index of 109 (http://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=vg5zISkAAAAJ); he served on the editorial boards of a number of scientific journals and is or has been a board member of the ESHG, ENMC, Italian Telethon, HGVS committees, INRA, E-Rare, La Fondation des Maladies Rares and the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation as well as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the French GenMed and of the France Génomique programs. In Switzerland, he took part in several committees that contributed to establish the national program towards personalized health.