Principal Investigator

Euan Ashley


Associate Dean
Roger and Joelle Burnell Professor Genomics and Precision Health
Professor of Medicine, Genetics, and Biomedical Data Science
Director, Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease
Director, Stanford Medicine Catalyst
Stanford University

Born in Scotland, Euan Ashley graduated with first class Honours in Physiology and Medicine from the University of Glasgow. He completed medical residency and a PhD (DPhil) in molecular physiology at the University of Oxford before moving to Stanford University in California where he studied high throughput genetics and data science, completing training as a cardiologist. In 2009, he founded the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease, one of the largest centers for the integrated care of patients with inherited cardiovascular disease in the world.

Dr Ashley is currently Associate Dean at Stanford University where he holds the Roger and Joelle Burnell Professorship in Genomics and Precision Health.Dr Ashley’s research is focused on the science of precision medicine. In 2010, he led the team that carried out the first clinical interpretation of a human genome. The paper was featured in hundreds of news stories. became one of the most cited articles in the medical literature that year, and was featured in an installation at the Smithsonian. Since then, he has helped establish genome sequencing as a routine part of the care of patients worldwide. As well as sequencing the first patient, the first patient family, and performing the first whole genome molecular autopsy, in 2022 he set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest DNA sequencing technique. His team sequenced the genome of a critically ill infant in five hours, making multiple clinical diagnoses in under eight hours — less than half the time of the previous world record.

Dr Ashley leads the My Heart Counts Cardiovascular Health Study. Launched in collaboration with Apple in 2015, this became the fastest recruiting medical study in history. Working with Google and the FDA, the platform is now focused on digital randomized controlled trials for exercise and lifestyle interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease and aging.

Dr Ashley has co-founded multiple biotechnology companies and advises several others. He directs Stanford’s innovation-translation program, Catalyst, which invests in Stanford’s most promising biomedical innovations. As part of this role, he works closely with investors representing a wide range of asset classes in the US, Europe, and Asia. He has advised governments including the US, UK, and several Asian nations on precision medicine. He has advised the senior leadership of Apple, Google, and Amazon on digital health. He is a non-executive director of the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Dr Ashley has received national and international recognition for his work including the NIH New Innovator Award, the American Heart Association (AHA) National Innovation Award and the AHA Medal of Honor. He was part of the winning team of the global One Brave Idea competition. He was recognized by the Obama Administration for contributions to Personalized Medicine and worked with the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy on programs including the Precision Medicine Initiative (All Of Us) and the Frontiers science and technology conference.

His first book The Genome Odyssey was released in 2021 and became an instant category bestseller on Amazon. Positively reviewed in many national newspapers, it has been translated into several languages, and widely distributed in the Americas, Europe, and Australasia.

Father to three Americans, in his spare time, Dr Ashley continues his quest to understand American football, plays jazz saxophone, pilots small planes, and conducts research on the health benefits of single malt Scotch whisky.

More (for the curious or chronically sleepless):

How I got from there to here. I think.

Stanford Faculty and Researcher Profile

The Genome Odyssey