Dr. Irizarry is an Associate Professor of Bioinformatics, Genetics, and Genomics at Western University College of Veterinary Medicine. While obtaining his Ph.D. he developed computational methods to identify functionally relevant genetic variations in the human genome. During his Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Neuropsychiatric Institute in the College of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, he focused his efforts on identifying specific genetic variants that were associated with susceptibility to depression, in an attempt to develop genetic diagnostics that could be used to predict patient response to antidepressant treatments. His work led to the identification of specific genomic regions that predicted clinical patterns of anxiety and depression. The results of that work were ultimately patented by the University.
Since 2009, Dr. Irizarry and a team of colleagues have been sequencing the genome of the endangered Snow Leopard. Dr. Irizarry is also the Director of the Applied Genomic Center which studies comparative mammalian genomics with an emphasis on decoding the behavioral and anatomical information encoded in animal genomes. Dr. Irizarry has published journal articles on various human and animal genetics topics.
Dr. Irizarry earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry & Biophysics from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, and a Doctorate in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from the University of California Los Angeles.
Dr. Irizarry brings his unique experience with a range of animals and knowledge of genetics to National Canine Research Council, where he has been an advisor since 2010.
See Dr. Irizarry’s 2011 video interview (right) where he explains the genetic basis for why dogs that look alike often do not act alike.