St. John’s-based Sequence Bio has named Michael S. Phillips as its new Chief Scientific Officer.

Phillips brings more than 25 years of experience in large-scale genomic projects, drug target discovery and leading research teams to the job.

Sequence Bio, which made the announcement Tuesday, plans to lead a large-scale genetic research project in Newfoundland and Labrador, called the NL Genome Project. This community-based initiative aims to create a powerful drug-discovery platform to help with the identification of diseases and drugs that could treat them.

Phillips has extensive expertise leading large research groups in academia, biotech, pharma and hospital settings for drug target discovery, biomarker research, clinical diagnostics, and technology development. Most recently, he was VP Genomics at Genomics Medicine Ireland. He was responsible for developing a state of the art clinical genomics laboratory, building highly skilled teams and contributing to the company's scientific direction. He has published over 70 articles in leading peer-reviewed journals and delivered hundreds of international presentations on his work.

"We are incredibly proud to have Dr. Phillips and his international expertise with population genetics research projects join the team,” said Sequence CEO Chris Gardner in a statement. “He recognizes Sequence Bio's unique opportunity to innovate drug discovery and embraces our participant-centric approach to benefit the people of Newfoundland & Labrador.”

As Chief Scientific Officer, Phillips will lead all scientific development projects and genomic and precision medicine research for Sequence Bio. He joins the team full-time as it prepares for a period of rapid expansion and growth in its operations.