CHOP Research Institute

Center for Applied Genomics

Today's Research Becomes Tomorrows Cure

Hakon hakonarson

Hakon Hakonarson


Hakon Hakonarson, M.D., Ph.D., is Director of the Center for Applied Genomics, Endowed Chair in Genomics Research and Professor of Pediatrics at The University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Hakonarson received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Iceland, School of Medicine. He leads a major commitment from CHOP to genomically characterize approximately 100,000 children, an initiative that has gained nationwide attention in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Time Magazine, Nature and Science. Dr. Hakonarson is a Principal Investigator within the eMERGE, Kids First, and TopMed genomics programs funded by the NIH.
Dr. Hakonarson has previously held several senior posts within the biopharmaceutical industry, directing a number of genomics and pharmacogenomics projects as vice president of Clinical Sciences and Development at deCODE genetics, Inc. Dr. Hakonarson has been the principal investigator (PI) on multiple National Institute of Health-sponsored grants, and he was a principal investigator on the Neurodevelopmental Genomics: Trajectories of Complex Phenotypes, the largest research project ever supported by the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Hakonarson recently completed a clinical biomarker study in ADHD demonstrating strong efficacy and safety of a neuromodulator compound (NFC-1) in children with specific mutations in the glutamate metabotropic (mGluR) receptor family of genes with ADHD and Autism. He has published over 650 scientific papers, including numerous high-impact papers on genomic discoveries and their translations in some of the most prestigious scientific medical journals, including Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Genetics, Cell and The New England Journal of Medicine. Time Magazine listed Dr. Hakonarson’s autism gene discovery project, reported in Nature in 2009, among the top 10 medical breakthroughs of that year.