Tom Willis, Ph.D.
Tom Willis has been an entrepreneur in the genomics industry for the past 20 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 the 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 the standard of care in NCCN guidelines. In 2015 Sequenta merged with Adaptive Biotechnologies to build a public immune platform company. Tom has served on the Boards of Adaptive Biotechnologies, Cernostics (now part of Castle Biosciences), and Rebus Biosystems.