Brian Van Ness, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He served as the Head of the Department for nine years, then served as a Director of the Institute of Human Genetics and Director of a newly established Division of Medical Genomics. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in chemistry from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA, Dr. Van Ness obtained his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota. He conducted his postdoctoral work in molecular immunology with the Institute for Cancer Research in Fox Chase, PA. His current research focuses on exploring how genetic variations influence disease progression and therapeutic response, particularly with regard to myeloma. He has published over 150 papers on his research studies.
He is Founder and CEO of a new company, Target Genomics, LLC, that focuses on guiding healthcare providers on the use of genomics. This centers on PRIMROSE, a searchable resource for identifying and implementing clinical applications of genetics in drug therapies. He was a Senior Fellow of Commercialization at Minneapolis based Life Science Alley and the BioBusiness Alliance, and served on the Advisory Board for Alley Institute. He has been active in regulatory and legal issues in genomics, both as expert consultant in patent litigation, as well as a member of an NIH supported committee, making recommendations on return of genetic results. Dr. Van Ness has recently created a joint course with the Law School, “Genetics and Law.” In addition to teaching responsibilities in the Medical and Law curriculum, Dr. Van Ness is a frequent guest speaker for continuing medical education programs and patient support groups around the country on genomics and personalized medicine.