Tom Willis, Ph.D.


Tom Willis has been an entrepreneur in the genomics industry for the past 15 years during which time he founded and successfully exited two startups in the genomic tools and diagnostic space.  After having received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics from Yale and Stanford respectively, he directed technology development efforts at the Stanford Genome Technology Center during the human genome project. He left Stanford in 2001 to found his first venture, ParAllele BioScience where he served as the founding CEO. After two rounds of venture financing and the successful development and commercialization of high throughput genotyping tools, ParAllele was acquired by Affymetrix in 2005. 


Tom founded his second venture, Sequenta in 2008. As Sequenta’s CEO, Tom and his team developed and commercialized a sequencing based platform for assessment of the human immune repertoire. Its lead diagnostic indication, clonoSEQ, allows the assessment of residual disease in leukemia and lymphoma, has been adopted by major cancer centers and has been established as standard of care in NCCN guidelines. In 2015 Sequenta merged with Adaptive Biotechnologies to build an immune platform company valued at over $1bn. Tom remains on the board of Adaptive. In addition to his own ventures, Tom has served on the boards of several other biotech startups.