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Baylor College of Medicine: Thomas Caskey

C. Thomas Caskey, professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, has died at the age of 83. Caskey began his career with Baylor College of Medicine in 1971, when he also founded the Institute for Molecular Genetics, currently known as the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics. In 1994 Caskey moved on to Merck Research Laboratories, where he was senior vice president of human genetics and vaccines discovery. He later returned to Houston to become CEO of the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center, and in 2011 came back to Baylor to work in his current role. In addition, in 2019 he became chief medical officer at Human Longevity.

His research identified the genetic basis of 25 major inherited diseases and clarified the understanding of "anticipation" in the triplet repeat diseases fragile X syndrome and myotonic muscular dystrophy, Baylor said. His personal identification patent is the basis of worldwide application for forensic science, and he was a consultant to the FBI in forensic science. His recent publications addressed the utility of genome-wide sequencing to prevent adult-onset diseases, and his research focused on the application of whole-genome sequencing and metabolomics of individuals to understand disease risk and its prevention, the school noted.

Caskey was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine (serving as chair of the Board of Health Sciences Policy), and the Royal Society of Canada. He was a past president of the American Society of Human Genetics, the Human Genome Organization, and the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science.