Dr. Tony Kerlavage has served as the director of CBIIT since May of 2019. He joined NCI as a program director in 2011 after more than 25 years in the public and private sector as a leader in bioinformatics and genomics. He became chief of the Cancer Informatics Branch in 2012 and acting director of CBIIT in 2017. 

During his tenure, NCI’s efforts in advancing open data, open software, and open science have increased exponentially. Dr. Kerlavage has led ground-breaking efforts in these areas, including helping to establish the NCI Cancer Cloud Resources and the Cancer Research Data Commons.

Dr. Kerlavage did his postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania, studying the structure/function relationships of ribosomes. He then spent seven years as a senior staff fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, where he studied the function of neurotransmitter receptors. This work led to the cloning and sequencing of several neurotransmitter receptor genes and, ultimately, resulted in expressed sequence tags for thousands of brain proteins. Dr. Kerlavage left NIH in 1992 to become a founding member and director of the Department of Bioinformatics at The Institute for Genomic Research, focusing on informatics support for whole genome sequencing and analysis. He subsequently moved to Celera Genomics, where he served as senior director of the online information business, providing access to the first draft of the human genome to academia and industry. He also served as senior director of global service development at Applied Biosystems and Life Technologies, where he supported global customers with intelligent monitoring systems for scientific instrumentation, LIMS systems, and computational infrastructure for next-generation sequencing technologies. Dr. Kerlavage received his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of California, San Diego, and his undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University, all in chemistry.


  • Childhood Cancer Data Initiative (CCDI)
  • NCI Cancer Research Data Commons (CRDC)