Michael Hammer, PhD

Director, Division of Technology and Innovation, Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine
Research Scientist, Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Biotechnology
Research Scientist, Department of Neurology
Member, Steele Children's Research Center
Member, BIO5 Institute

Dr. Hammer is a Research Scientist in the Division of Biotechnology at the University of Arizona with appointments in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Bio5, the School of Anthropology, the University of Arizona Cancer Center, and the Steele Children's Research Center.  Since 1991 he has been Director of the University of Arizona Genetics Core (UAGC), a facility that provides training and molecular biology services to University and biotechnology communities at large.  After receiving his Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of California at Berkeley in 1984, Dr. Hammer performed post-doctoral research at Princeton and Harvard.  Over the past two decades, Dr. Hammer headed a productive research lab in human evolutionary genetics, resulting in over 100 published articles documenting the African origin of human diversity, interbreeding between modern humans and archaic forms of the genus Homo, and genome diversity in the great apes. His lab was an early adopter of next generation sequencing (NGS) technology and the application of whole genome analysis in humans, and  has been a key player in the Gibbon and Baboon Genome Projects, as well as a consortium  that has analyzed the genomes of over 100 Great Apes (GAPE Project). In the past 3 years, Dr. Hammer’s team has been exploring the use of NGS methods to discover the underlying genetic architecture of neurodevelopmental disorders. This has led to the publication of articles identifying pathogenic variants associated with epileptic encephalopathies in young children.