Thursday, September 8, 2016

Ancestry Appoints Catherine Ball as Chief Scientific Officer



Recognized Leader in Field of Genomics
Will Help Company Scale DNA Offering to Millions More

LEHI, Utah, Sept. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today announced the appointment of Catherine Ball, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer. In addition to overseeing the science team, Dr. Ball leads the Company's initiatives to develop innovative new technologies and analyze genetic data at a rapidly-increasing scale.

Dr. Ball joined Ancestry in 2011 as Vice President of Genomics and Bioinformatics, helping to establish the Company's approach to genetic genealogy leading to the launch of AncestryDNA. She has built Ancestry's science team into a key innovation engine, driving new scientific discoveries and powering the Company's growth to become the largest consumer genomics provider globally. Today, AncestryDNA has the world's largest consumer genomics database and has helped more than two million customers learn more about their ethnic origins and genetic relationships.

"This is an important recognition of the instrumental role Cathy has played — and will continue to play — in the tremendous growth of our DNA business," said Ken Chahine Ph.D., Executive Vice President and General Manager of AncestryDNA. "We're focused on developing new innovations that combine the science of DNA with our vast database of 70 million family trees to help everyone, everywhere discover what led to them. We're at the beginning of this journey and there's no one better to spearhead these efforts than Cathy."

"It's incredibly gratifying to work on a product that has a meaningful impact on so many lives," said Dr. Ball. "Our customers share extremely rewarding stories of self-discovery with us daily and it's an important priority to be good stewards of the data entrusted to us. I look forward to continuing work with a stellar team of laboratory scientists, geneticists, statisticians, and computer scientists as we refine the genomic science behind family history to deliver more detailed and personalized results to those of all backgrounds."

By bringing together DNA data and the context of ties between people, places, and human events found in family trees, the AncestryDNA team will continue to study ethnic diversity, migration patterns, human evolution and the history of our species, which has the potential to influence the way we think about identity and the connections among mankind.

Dr. Ball is a genomic scientist who has annotated and mined the genomes of various organisms and created resources to help clinicians, citizens and other scientists exploit and explore genome data. Her career has focused on helping people around the world appreciate, understand and use their own genomic data. Dr. Ball has collaborated on the annotation of the first sequenced eukaryotic genome (brewer's yeast) and has collaboratively built databases to explore the genomes of yeast, E. coli and the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. As a pioneer in data analysis resources for high-throughput biomedical technologies, she led the Stanford Microarray Database, the largest academic database of its kind. Dr. Ball has used high-throughput biomedical data to shed light on diverse research topics, from the biology of infectious organisms to the mechanisms involved in cell division and cancer. Dr. Ball has presented seminars at leading universities and contributes to National Institutes of Health committees. She received a B.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Ball was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley prior to her research in the Departments of Genetics and Biochemistry at Stanford University School of Medicine.

About Ancestry

Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry has more than 2.4 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and more than 2 million DNA samples in the AncestryDNA database. Since 1996, more than 18 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 80 million family trees on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites. Ancestry offers a suite of family history products and services including AncestryDNA, Archives, ProGenealogists, Newspapers.com and Fold3.