‘Exploring one of the biggest challenges facing genomics today – understanding genetic variants’

SEATTLE (February 22, 2021) – Global experts performing leading edge research in precision medicine, functional genomics, protein science, and variant interpretation and prediction will share their expertise and insights April 5-7 during the fourth annual “Mutational Scanning Symposium,” a free-of-charge virtual conference.

“We will be exploring how new genomic technologies are helping resolve one of the biggest challenges facing genomics today – understanding genetic variants,” said Dr. Lea Starita, one of the symposium’s lead organizers and presenters and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine and co-director of the Brotman Baty Advanced Technology Lab.

Registration is now open. Sign up to attend, submit poster abstracts, and learn more at https://www.varianteffect.org/aveevents/mutational-scanning-symposium.

Among the confirmed speakers are:

  • Ben Lehner (keynote): Coordinator of the Center for Genome Regulation’s Biology program and a professor at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies in Barcelona. He and his associates examine genetics related to incomplete penetrance, mutation rates and processes, epigenetic inheritance, genetic interactions, and genetic prediction. His lab has been awarded the European Molecular Biology Organization’s Gold Medal and the Bettencourt Prize for Life Sciences, among other honors.


  • Kimberly A. Reynolds (keynote) is an Assistant Professor in the Green Center for Systems Biology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas. Her lab uses a combination of statistical genomics and high-throughput experiments to understand constraints on protein activity, abundance, and regulation inside cells. She is a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Data Driven Discovery Investigator, and recipient of the National Science Foundation’s award for the Faculty Early Career Development Program.


  • Doug Fowler is a leader in high-throughput, sequencing-based assays, and is best known for developing the “Deep Mutational Scanning’ method for interrogating protein structure, a technology that couples genotype to phenotype in order to quantify the effect of genetic variation. He is currently the lead PI for the Center for Multiplexed Assessment of Phenotype (CMAP), one of 10 nationally recognized NHGRI-funded Centers of Excellence in Genome Science. He also is one of the founding members of the Atlas of Variant Effects Alliance an international organization that is building comprehensive variant effect maps. He is an Associate Professor of Genome Sciences and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington.


  • Alex Cagan (Scientific live sketcher and illustrator) is a post-doctoral researcher at the Wellcome Sanger Institute where he investigates evolutionary processes in somatic tissues. He is also a scientific illustrator known for his “live” sketching of scientific conference presentations. He will be using his tablet and stylus to create images summarizing presentations at the conference.


In addition, there will be interactive poster presentations, abstract talks, presentations from the Atlas of Variant Effects Alliance, and an interactive “hands on” workshop on Day 3 focused on mutational scanning techniques and methods. Breakout sessions and social hours will enable participants to engage with speakers, workshop presenters, and colleagues. The event will be livestreamed, with archived video available afterward.


This annual symposium is sponsored by the Center for the Multiplexed Assessment of Phenotype, Atlas of Variant Effects Alliance, Illumina, Octant, Wellcome Sanger Institute, and the Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine.




Dean R. Owen, Director of Communications

The Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine

dean1227@uw.edu; +1.253.906.8645



ABOUT BBI: The Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine (BBI) was founded in November 2017 by UW Medicine, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Seattle Children’s. Its mission is to have a transformative impact on biomedical research and patient outcomes through the development and application of precision approaches to healthcare. Its world-renowned investigators work together on shared scientific interests in areas including medical genetics, cancer biology, infectious disease, and technology development.