Who's Who At Family Tree DNA
Mike Hammer is FTDNA's Chief Scientist, and member of the Scientific Advisory Board.
A Biotechnology Research Scientist at the University of Arizona with appointments
in the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary
Biology, as well as Director of the Genomic Analysis and Technology Core facility,
Dr. Hammer received his PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Berkeley
and was a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton and Harvard Universities. He co-authored
the first paper showing that present-day Cohanim are descended from a single male
PhD Population Geneticist
Bruce Walsh is our Chief Population Geneticist and member of the Scientific Advisory
An expert on population genetics and statistical applications in genetics and co-author
of one of the leading texts in this area, Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative
Traits, Lynch and Walsh, 1997, Dr. Walsh served on the editorial boards of the journals
Genetics; Genetical Research; Theoretical Population Biology; Evolution and The
American Naturalist. He received his PhD in Genetics from the University of Washington.
MD, PhD Population Geneticist
Doron Behar is our Chief mtDNA Scientist and member of the Scientific Advisory Board.
Population geneticist and Senior Physician at the Department of Critical Care Medicine
at the Rambam Medical Center, Haifa. Dr. Behar has pioneered scientific research
on DNA variations of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome in Jewish and
Near Eastern populations. Dr. Behar is currently focusing on large scale mtDNA-based
population genetic studies.
Theodore G. Schurr
PhD Molecular Anthropologist
Tad Schurr is a member of FTDNA's Scientific Advisory Board.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania,
Dr. Schurr spent the last 12 years investigating the genetic prehistory of Asia
and the Americas. He has worked on the mapping and identification of genes that
contribute to cardiovascular disease risk in Native American groups, and received
his PhD in Anthropology from Emory University.
Dipl.- Ing. Biotechnology and Genetics
Thomas Krahn is our Chief Y chromosome scientist and a Member of FTDNA's Scientific
Thomas has planned and established FTDNA's Genomics Research Center in Houston.
He graduated from the Technical University of Berlin with an MSC (Dipl. - Ing.)
in biotechnology and genetics. He started his own DNA-Fingerprint laboratory in
Germany in 2005, which later became the foundation and knowledge base on which on
the GRC laboratory was built. Today, Thomas focuses on Y-Chromosome specific research.
He has discovered an uncountable number of new haplogroups. Among them is the oldest
contemporary human A00 haplogroup that revolutionized the complete Y-tree topology
and extended into the past the understanding of modern humans by more than 50,000
years. He is the inventor of the Walk Through the Y project and maintains the Ymap
and Ytree databases that FTDNA provides at no cost to the scientific community.
FTDNA Laboratory Manager
Dr. Bormans received her Ph.D. in genetics from Texas A&M University where she developed
new STR marker panels for use in plant breeding. As a Research Fellow at the University
of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, she managed three large scale projects
to identify genes related to cardiovascular disease. She is currently focused on
developing efficient methods for large scale genotyping projects using both direct
sequencing and STR analysis.
Ph.D. Advisory Board
Spencer Wells is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and
Frank H. T. Rhodes Class of 1956 Professor at Cornell University. He leads The Genographic
Project, which is collecting and analyzing hundreds of thousands of DNA samples
from people around the world in order to decipher how our ancestors populated the
planet. Wells received his Ph.D. in population genetics from Harvard University
and conducted postdoctoral work at Stanford and Oxford. He has appeared in numerous
documentary films and is the author of three books, The Journey of Man, Deep Ancestry
and Pandora's Seed.
Ph.D. Advisory Board
Eran Halperin is a senior research scientist in the International Computer Science
Institute (ICSI) in Berkeley, California and an associate professor in Tel-Aviv
University in the School of Computer Science and in the Department of Microbiology.
His research group works on computational methods for the analysis of population
genetics data. His group has developed methods that have been used by thousands
of researchers worldwide in order to understand the genetic causes of diseases such
as cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Professor Halperin has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles across different
disciplines including human and population genetics, computational biology, algorithms,
and operations research. He received various honors for academic achievements, including
the Rothschild Fellowship, the Intel, and the Krill prizes. Professor Halperin received
his Ph.D. in computer science from Tel-Aviv University.
President and CEO
An entrepreneur and life-long genealogy enthusiast, Mr. Greenspan founded Family
Tree DNA in 1999, turning - dare we say - a hobby into a full-time vocation. Together
with Max Blankfeld, they founded in 1997
GoCollege.com a website for college-bound students which survived the .COM
Originally from Brazil, received his BBA from Fundação Getulio Vargas,
and MBA from Rice University. While his first college education was in the field
of Aeronautical Engineering, he gave it up to become a foreign correspondent. After
that, he started and managed several successful ventures in the area of public relations
as well as consumer goods both in Brazil and the US.