Dr. Collins is a senior research scientist at the Vancouver Prostate Centre and director of the Laboratory for Advanced Genome Analysis (LAGA). In addition, he is an associate adjunct professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and a visiting scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has held positions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at UCSF. His current research involves translational genomics where mathematics, genomics, computer science and clinical science converge in diagnostics and therapeutics.
His work as a member of the UCSF Prostate SPORE has resulted in identification of a suite of DNA based biomarkers that show promise for predicting a patient’s risk of progression and metastasis. Dr. Collins invented and patented End Sequence Profiling (ESP)—the forerunner of modern paired-end sequencing. ESP is a sequence-based method for determining the physical structure, complexity, and mutation load of tumor genomes and for direct detection of fusion genes and transcripts. Dr. Collins is now integrating array-based technologies and next generation sequencing technologies to radically cut costs and make very large-scale tumor genome projects and personalized oncology a reality in the near term.