SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) today announced that it is appointing Susan Tousi as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), and Dr. Alex Aravanis as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Head of Research and Product Development.
“We’re fortunate to have Susan and Alex, two of the strongest leaders in the genomics industry, take on these large, important roles,” said Francis deSouza, Chief Executive Officer of Illumina. “Susan and Alex are talented and passionate executives with successful track records of creating a compelling vision, building great teams, delivering exceptional results, and championing our culture. In their new roles, they will help further accelerate our innovation roadmaps and expand our customer relationships globally.”
Susan has more than 25 years of technical and general management leadership at scale and has led Illumina’s global product development since 2012. Under her leadership, Illumina delivered an expansive portfolio of breakthrough, industry-leading products across sequencing platforms, microarrays, library prep and informatics, including HiSeq™ X, NovaSeq™ 6000, NextSeq™ 500/550/550Dx/1000/2000, iSeq™ 100, MiSeq™ Dx, the world’s first FDA-cleared/CE-IVD marked sequencer, the DNAflex library prep solutions, COVIDSeq™ Test, and TruSight™ Oncology 500. She led the successful acquisitions of Edico Genomics, BlueBee and Enancio, which brought DRAGEN’s™ accelerated Bio-IT platform to Illumina, and resulted in the launch of Illumina Connected Analytics. Prior to Illumina, Susan was Corporate Vice President and General Manager for Eastman Kodak’s Consumer Inkjet Systems, and before that, spent 10 years at Hewlett-Packard in technical and management roles. She has received numerous business, technology, and leadership awards, and was elected to the National Academy of Engineers in 2018. Susan holds an MBA from UCLA and an Honors BS in Engineering Science from Pennsylvania State University.
“I am excited to lead Illumina’s extraordinarily talented commercial team to empower our customers around the world with innovations that further unlock the power of the genome,” said Susan. “I look forward to strengthening relationships between Illumina’s research and development teams and our customers, boosting our offerings and benefiting all. I am deeply passionate about our products and inspired by the breathtaking technology and portfolio we have set up for the next decade. It will take our customers to an entirely new level of genomics innovation, and I cannot wait to continue scaling our strong commercial engine to deliver on this promise.”
For nearly 20 years Alex has led innovation spanning basic research and technology development to late-stage clinical development. He first joined Illumina in 2013 and led research to create the first distributed comprehensive genomic profiling assay for liquid biopsy and tumor tissue, the first exome-wide targeted RNA assays for tumor tissue, massively parallel single cell sequencing, and other sequencing platform technologies including semiconductor-based detection. In 2016, Alex co-founded and served as Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D at GRAIL, where he led teams developing a multi-cancer early detection test by combining high-intensity sequencing, data science and engineering, including powerful machine learning approaches such as neural networks. His team at GRAIL created one of the largest clinical study programs ever in genomic medicine. Alex returned to Illumina in June 2020 as CTO, leading the company’s research and technology development and the innovation engine for next-generation sequencing platforms and applications. Alex is an inventor on numerous patents and publications. He has an MD and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from UC Berkeley.
“I am honored to lead Illumina’s powerful research and product teams at a time when the impact of sequencing is accelerating worldwide across areas including research, oncology, reproductive health, genetic disease diagnosis and pathogen surveillance. Illumina’s products and partnerships are helping move healthcare toward earlier detection, faster diagnosis and precision medicine,” said Alex. “Our technology and product roadmaps will continue to set the pace for innovation, cost reduction, and new insights for our customers. I look forward to hitting the gas pedal as we accelerate other technology breakthroughs and their translation to the clinic.”
Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our focus on innovation has established us as the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical, and applied markets. Our products are used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture, and other emerging segments. To learn more, visit www.illumina.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.
Use of forward-looking statements
This release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including the expectation for lower costs related to the storing and managing of genomic data costs. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in any forward-looking statements are: (i) challenges inherent in developing and launching new products and services; (ii) our ability to deploy new products, services, and applications, and to expand the markets for our technology platforms; (iii) our ability to accelerate our innovation and reduce customer costs; and (iv) the acceptance by customers of our products, which may or may not meet our and their expectations, together with other factors detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, or in information disclosed in public conference calls, the date and time of which are released beforehand. We undertake no obligation, and do not intend, to update these forward-looking statements, to review or confirm analysts’ expectations, or to provide interim reports or updates on the progress of the current quarter.