Director, G2P

Robert C. Green, MD, MPH

Dr. Green is a physician-scientist in the Division of Genetics and Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. His research interests have evolved from a focus on clinical trials and genetic epidemiology to a focus on translational genomics and health outcomes. He has been continuously funded by NIH for 21 years and has published over 300 articles. Key contributions have included the development of risk estimates based on family history and genetic markers, [12] leadership and analysis of large multi-center treatment and prevention trials, including trials enriched through family history, [345] and design, leadership and future planning of the first large-scale randomized clinical trials in translational genetics [678]. He serves on a number of advisory, editorial and grant review boards and is a regular member of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) study section on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) and Human Genetics. He has been invited to participate in National Institutes of Health (NIH) planning workshops on the future of genomic medicine, [9] and has been a featured or plenary speaker on translational genomics and personalized medicine at meetings of the World Science Festivalthe National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics, the American Academy of Neurologythe Consumer Genetics Conferencethe World Congress of Psychiatric Geneticsthe American Society of Human Geneticsthe National Press Club and the Bio IT World Conference. He is a Board Member of the Council for Responsible Genetics and was a plenary speaker on the topic of “Translational Genomics” at the Presidential Symposium of the 2011 American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics.


The most recently funded award led by Dr. Green and joint-PI Dr. Alan Beggs is The BabySeq Project: Genome Sequencing-Based Screening for Childhood Risk and Newborn Illness (HD077671, funded 2013-2018), which involves a team of 40 scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. This $6 million project is the first and only NIH-funded randomized controlled trial to explore the integration of genome sequencing into the care of healthy and ill newborns. Co-PIs include Drs. Peter Park, Heidi Rehm, Pankaj Agrawal, Richard Parad, Ingrid Holm and Amy McGuire. Pending IRB approval, subject enrollment for the project will begin in 2014.


Setting the groundwork for the BabySeq project, Dr. Green also leads The MedSeq Project: Integration of Whole Genome Sequencing into Clinical Medicine (HG006500, funded 2011-2015) with a multidisciplinary team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Duke University and Boston Children’s Hosital.  In this project researchers are exploring the use of whole genome sequencing in the practice of clinical medicine. Co-PIs include Drs. Mike Murray, Christine Seidman, Zak Kohane, Heidi Rehm and Amy McGuire. Subject enrollment for the project is ongoing and the team hopes to complete recruitment by August 2014.


Dr. Green also directs The REVEAL Study, (HG02213 funded 1999-2013), having built a team of clinicians, geneticists, genetic counselors, health psychologists, ethicists and policy scholars to conduct four separate multi-center randomized clinical trials that have collectively enrolled over 1,100 individuals in order to explore emerging themes in translational genomics. Reports from the REVEAL Study have described the quantitative development of risk estimates from epidemiological studies and in different ethnic groups, [2, 10, 11, 12] the emotional impact of disclosing risk information, [6, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17] the reasons people seek genetic risk information, [18, 19] issues in self-perception of risk and how these change with genetic testing, [20, 21, 22, 23] how much participants would pay for such testing, [24] the degree to which participants recall their test results or discuss them with others, [25, 26, 27] the degree to which genetic testing affects insurance purchasing, [28, 29] and the degree to which genetic testing alters health behaviors. [17, 30, 31, 32] Dr. Green has also written about the scientific and social aspects of direct-to-consumer genetic testing, [33, 34, 35, 36, 37] and directs (with Multi-PI Dr. Scott Roberts) one of the first NIH studies (HG005092) to prospectively examine the impact of consumer-based personal genomics services, The PGen Study: Impact of Personal Genomics.


Dr. Green has also been supported by an NIH K24 mentoring award for his work in mentoring junior investigators in clinical research and is a frequent collaborator with both early and established investigators in genetics and genomics from around the country. He collaborates on studies in disclosing genes for obesity (C. Wang, PI, HG00603) and diabetes (R. Grant, PI, DK084527), the Boston Children’s Hospital Gene Partnership Project (I. Holm, PI, HG005491), the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative (M. Christman, PI), the Working Group on Incidental Findings in Genomic Biobanks (S. Wolf, PI, HG003178), the Brigham and Women’s Hospital OurGenes research biobank (C. Seidman and E. Karlson, PIs) and on Harvard’s Center for Excellence in Genome Sciences (G. Church, PI, HG003170).


Dr. Green graduated from Amherst College and the University of Virginia School of Medicine before fulfilling a residency in neurology at Harvard Medical School’s Longwood Neurology Program.  He completed research fellowships at the Beth Israel Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, winning both the William B. Lennox and Wilder Penfield Research Fellowships. Dr. Green was on the faculty of Emory University School of Medicine from 1988-1996, and obtained an MPH (epidemiology) at Emory University between 1996-1999. From 1999-2011, Dr. Green was on the faculty of Boston University School of Medicine most recently as Professor of Neurology, Medicine (Genetics) and Epidemiology. From 2009-2011, he completed a fellowship at Harvard Medical School’s Genetics Training Program and is board certified in medical genetics. He was recently recruited to the faculty of the Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School where he is Associate Director for Research in the Partners Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine (PCPGM).


Selected References

1.  Green, R.C., et al., JAMA, 2002.

2.  Cupples, L.A., et al., Genet Med, 2004.

3.  Lyketsos, C.G., et al., Neurology, 2007.

4.  Green, R.C., et al., JAMA, 2009.

5.  Breitner, J., et al., Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 2011.

6.  Green, R.C., et al., N Engl J Med, 2009.

7.  Green, R., et al., Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics, 2013.

8.  Green, R., et al., Clinical Genome Sequencing. In Ginsburg G, Willard H (eds). Genomic and Personalized Medicine (2nd edition), 2013, in press.

9.  Khoury, M.J., et al., Genetics in Medicine, 2009.

10.  Bachman, D.L., et al., Neurology, 2003.

11.  Green, R.C., et al., J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci, 2002.

12.  Christensen, K.D., et al., Genet Med, 2008.

13.  Roberts, J., et al., J Geriatr Psychiatr Neurol, 2005.

14.  Green, R.C., et al., Alzheimer’s and Dementia, 2007.

15.  Roberts, J.S., The Gerontologist, 2009.

16.  Chung, W., et al., Alz Dis Assoc Dis, 2009.

17.  Lerner, B., et al., Journal of Genetic Counseling, 2009.

18.  Roberts, J.S., et al., Alz Dis Assoc Dis, 2003.

19.  Roberts, J.S., et al., Genet Med, 2004.

20.  LaRusse, S., et al., Genet Med, 2005.

21.  Hiraki, S., et al., J Genet Couns, 2008.

22.  Linnenbringer, E., et al., Genet Med, 2010.

23.  Christensen, K., et al., Genet Med, 2011.

24.  Kopits, I., et al., Genet Test Mol Biomarkers, 2011.

25.  Eckert, S.L., et al., Genet Med, 2006.

26.  Ashida, S., et al., J Health Commun, 2009.

27.  Ashida, S., et al., Eur J Hum Genet, 2010.

28.  Zick, C.D., et al., Health Affairs, 2005.

29.  Taylor, D.H., Jr., et al., Health Aff (Millwood), 2010.

30.  Chao, S., et al., Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord, 2008.

31.  Fanshawe, T.R., et al., Genet Test, 2008.

32.  Vernarelli, J.A., et al., Am J Clin Nutr, 2010.

33.  Annas, G.J., et al., Bioethics, 2008.

34.  Green, R.C., et al., N Engl J Med, 2008.

35.  Evans, J.P., et al., Genet Med, 2009.

36.  Giovanni, M.A., et al., Genet Test Mol Biomarkers, 2010.

37.  Frueh, F., et al., Nature Reviews Genetics, 2011.

Upcoming Presentations
October 07, 2015
Boston, MA

Dr. Green and members of the G2P Program team speak internationally on the topics of translational genomics, health outcomes and personalized medicine.
Dr. Green at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, November, 2011. Photo Credit: Roderick Mickens©American Museum of Natural History, All Rights Reserved..