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Who's Who At Family Tree DNA

Michael Hammer

Michael Hammer

PhD Geneticist

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 ancestor.

Bruce Walsh

Bruce Walsh

PhD Population Geneticist

Bruce Walsh is our Chief Population Geneticist and member of the Scientific Advisory Board.

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.

Doron Behar

Doron Behar

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.

Connie Bormans

Connie Bormans

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.

Spencer Wells

Spencer Wells

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.

Bennett Greenspan

Bennett Greenspan

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 implosion.

Max Blankfeld

Max Blankfeld

VP Operations/Marketing

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.