Chris’s academic background is in computer science, with a specialization in machine learning and artificial intelligence. He worked with a military contractor in the ’90s, using neural networks, support vector machines, genetic algorithms, natural language processing, expert systems, and other approaches to build systems serving a range of battlefield applications. This early experience imbued Chris with a pragmatic and grounded engineering mindset, as well as a healthy appreciation for the importance of large and well curated datasets.

Chris made the jump to bioinformatics in 2000, joining a computational biology group at the University of Minnesota. While there, he applied bioinformatics algorithms to model organisms in crop and veterinary science. He quickly realized the importance of domain expertise in cross-disciplinary work, and was repeatedly astonished and humbled by the depth of technical expertise required to meaningfully contribute to biological research.

Following with a move to the Boston area, Chris became the first full time employee of the noted consulting firm, BioTeam. Between 2004 and 2011 he designed and deployed high performance computing and large scale data storage solutions for dozens of customers at all stages of adopting and leveraging next generation DNA sequencing technology. Chris deployed his first cloud based solutions in 2007, and built his first petabyte scale data storage environment in 2008. Along the way, he developed his practice of leadership building BioTeam into one of the best known and most respected consulting organizations in the industry. By the end of his tenure, he was managing the consulting team and serving on the Board of Directors alongside the founders.

Chris was a founding contributor to the New York Genome Center. He architected, designed, and supervised construction for all of the computing, data storage, and network infrastructure at NYGC, including substantial renovations to its Manhattan headquarters. In this role he honed his skills as a senior executive, managing multi-million dollar budgets and reporting to the executive director and presenting regularly to the board of directors.

Dwan directed the research computing team at the Broad Institute from 2014 to 2017, at the time the largest genome sequencing operation in the world. Chris was responsible the teams who managed Broad’s data and computing infrastructure – weighing in at tens of petabytes and thousands of CPUs. In addition to serving the research computing needs of Broad’s community of thousands of researchers, Chris was also instrumental in the development of Broad’s program in data sciences during its transition from an on-premises to a hybrid-cloud infrastructure. He served as Acting Director of Broad IT during the yearlong search for a new CIO.

Most recently, Chris was a Senior VP at Sema4 (now operating as GeneDx) from 2017 to 2022, where he built and led the Production Bioinformatics department. His teams were responsible for the validated digital infrastructure that captured, processed, stored, and delivered results from thousands of clinical genomic assays per week, and also for the data systems supporting Sema4’s precision medicine and AI mission.

Chris launched his ongoing practice of independent consulting in 2011, and has served as advisor, strategist, and fractional C-level leader to 20+ of organizations, including universities, research institutes, biotechs, pharmaceuticals, and government agencies.