Today's seminar will now be held on the 13th of March at 12. Please do come along. 

There will again be sandwiches from Olive's and coffee.


Impressive advances in genome sequencing have opened the way to a variety of revolutionary applications in modern healthcare. In particular, the increasing understanding of the human genome, and of its relation to diseases and its response to treatments brings promise of improvements in preventive and personalised healthcare, as well as in public health.

However, the very same progress also amplifies worrisome privacy concerns, since a genome represents a treasure trove of highly personal and sensitive information. Moreover, besides carrying information about a person's genetic condition and their predisposition to specific diseases, the genome also contains information about the individual's relatives. The leakage of such information can open the door to a variety of abuses and threats not yet fully understood.

In this talk, we will overview biomedical advances in genomics and discuss associated privacy, ethical, and security challenges, from the perspective of a computer scientist (aka the speaker).



Emiliano De Cristofaro is a Senior Lecturer (old-fashioned wording for Associate Professor) at University College London. Prior to joining UCL, he was a Research Scientist at Xerox PARC. He received a PhD in Networked Systems (and Surfing) from the University of California Irvine, advised by Gene Tsudik. His research interests include privacy, security, and applied cryptography. In 2012, he received the Excellency Award from PARC's Computer Science Lab. He has chaired the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS) in 2013 and 2014, a fact that took 2 years away from his life expectancy, and is now chairing the 2nd Workshop on Genome Privacy and Security (GenoPri). While he generally does not speak of himself in the third person, Emiliano maintains an updated homepage at