Robert A Holt

Dr. Robert Holt grew up in the Vancouver area and studied science at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He received his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Alberta in 1998. After a post-doctoral fellowship in Molecular Evolution at the State University of New York, Dr. Holt joined the company Celera Genomics where he served as the scientific operations manager for initial sequencing of the human genome.

Since 2003, Dr. Holt has been a scientist at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre located at the BC Cancer Research Institute, where he is also scientific co-director of the BC Cancer Immunotherapy Program. He is recognized for his leadership role in decoding some of the first model organism and pathogen genomes and, recently, for developing next-generation sequencing methods for interrogating the genetics of the adaptive immune system.

He has served as a scientific advisor to the NIH Human Microbiome Project and discoveries by his group have linked new infectious agents to cancer risk. His current basic and clinical research directions are focused on immunogenomics, synthetic immunology and developing vaccines and genetically engineered cell therapies for cancer.

For an up-to-date list of publications by Dr. Holt, please see