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Harold "Skip" Garner, PhD

Harold "Skip" Garner

Harold "Skip" Garner, PhD

Executive Director for Primary Care Research Network and The Center for Bioinformatics and Genetics
Virginia Campus

Knollwood 139

sgarner [at]
Curriculum Vitae: 

Skip received his BS in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Missouri - Rolla in 1976. Skip received a Ph.D. in plasma physics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1982. He also holds an honorary professional engineering degree.

Skip worked for 12 years at General Atomics in La Jolla, California, where he conducted experimental and theoretical research for the Department of Energy at international fusion research facilities. In the last 6 years at General Atomics, he was a founding member of “The Institute”, an internal think tank, where he developed artificial intelligence/expert systems, new particle accelerators, high temperature superconductors, stealth/defense technologies and biology software and instrumentation.

From 1994 to 2009, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Skip held the P. O’B. Montgomery, M.D., Distinguished Chair, was a Professor of Biochemistry and Internal Medicine and a founding member of the Division of Translational Research (DTR). 

In 2009, Skip moved to Virginia Tech, where he is currently the Executive Director, office of Medical Informatics, Translation, Training and Ethics (MITTE) and a professor of biological science, computer science and medicine. 

In 2016, Skip also became a Professor of Biomedicine, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) and Executive Director, Primary Care Research Network and the Center for Bioinformatics and Genetics.

He sits on numerous corporate advisory boards and advises for numerous governmental agencies. He is also the founder of several companies - Helix, BioAutomation, Light Biology (sold to Nimblegen, acquired by Roche), Orbit Genomics, Heliotext, Quanta Lingua and Comperity.

Skip has published over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 10 books/book chapters and has over 30 issued and pending patents, US and International.


1994 University of Missouri, Rolla PE - Nuclear Engineering (honorary)
1982 University of Wisconsin, Madison PhD - Plasma Physics
1978 University of Wisconsin, Madison MS - Nuclear Engineering
1976 University of Missouri, Rolla BS - Nuclear Engineering

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
  • Charter member of the Academy of the School of Mines and Metallurgy and Order of the Golden Shillelagh, University of Missouri - Rolla
  • Postdoctoral Mentor of the Year, UT Southwestern Medical Center 2008
  • Fellow of the Virginia Tech Honors Residence College

Current Professional Organizations

  • AAAS, AACR, VaBio

Current Research Projects

  • Diagnostic experiences of 3rd and 4th year medical students on clinical rotations
  • Evidence-based optimization of the Bredesen protocol for diminished mental capacity
  • Identifying and quantifying the level of questionable “abstract publications” at scientific meetings


Year Published Faculty Citation PMID

Velmurugan KR, Varghese RT, Fonville NC, Garner HR. High-depth, high-accuracy microsatellite genotyping enables precision lung cancer risk classification. Oncogene. 2017 Jul 31. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 28759038.


Kang L, Garner HR, Price DK, Michalak P. A Test for Gene Flow among Sympatric and Allopatric Hawaiian Picture-Winged Drosophila. J Mol Evol. 2017 Jun;84(5-6):259-66. PMID: 28492967.


Kang L, Settlage R, McMahon W, Michalak K, Tae H, Garner HR, Stacy EA, Price DK, Michalak P. Genomic signatures of speciation in sympatric and allopatric Hawaiian picture-winged Drosophila. Genome Biol Evol. 2016 May 30;8(5):1482-8.


Patidar PL, Motea EA, Fattah FJ, Zhou Y, Morales JC, Xie Y, Garner HR, Boothman DA. The Kub5-Hera/RPRD1B interactome: A novel role in preserving genetic stability by regulating DNA mismatch repair. Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Feb 29;44(4):1718-31.


Fonville NC, Velmurugan KR, Tae H, Vaksman Z, McIver LJ, Garner HR.  Genomic leftovers: identifying novel microsatellites, over-represented motifs and functional elements in the human genome.  Nature Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 9;6:27722.


Michalak K, Maciak S, Kim YB, Santopietro G, Oh JH, Kang L, Garner HR, Michalak P. Nucleolar dominance and maternal control of 455 rDNA expression. Proc Biol Sci. 2015 Dec 7;282(1820):20152201.