Alex Aravanis MD PhDAlex Aravanis, MD PhD

Chief Technology Officer, Head of Research and Product Development, Illumina


Alex Aravanis, MD, PhD, is Illumina’s Chief Technology Officer, Head of Research and Product Development. He re-joined Illumina in June 2020 and is responsible for leading Illumina’s research and product development teams in engineering, consumables, applications, user design, software, informatics, and artificial intelligence. These teams are Illumina’s innovation engine and deliver product excellence in next-generation sequencing platforms and applications to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and translation of genomics to the clinic.

Alex is an experienced entrepreneur and was involved in founding several start-ups in life sciences and healthcare. Most recently, he co-founded GRAIL Bio where he served as Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D. At GRAIL, Aravanis led the research, development, operational, and clinical teams developing its multi-cancer early detection test. Alex’s passion for accelerating the commercial application of technology innovation continue in his current role where his responsibilities also include the Illumina Accelerator, the world’s first business accelerator focused solely on creating an innovation ecosystem for the genomics industry.

Prior to GRAIL, Alex served as Senior Director of R&D for Illumina, Inc., where he developed multiple technologies, including clinical assays for the analysis of RNA and DNA from fixed tissues, whole exome analysis, massively parallel single cell transcriptomics, and liquid biopsy using cell-free nucleic acids.

Alex earned a BS in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics Minor from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering, and an MD from Stanford University. He holds more than 30 (pending and issued) patents and numerous peer-reviewed publications, additionally he serves on various Scientific Advisor Boards for biotech startups.