The Center for the Advancement of Genomics
Craig Venter has played a vital role in genomic research. He is known for his "shotgun sequencing" technique, which accelerates sequencing and is now a central component of all whole genome-sequencing strategies. In 1998 he founded Celera Genomics to sequence the human genome using the whole genome shotgun technique, new mathematical algorithms, and new automated DNA sequencing machines. That research culminated in 2001 in the publication of the human genome in the journal Science. Dr. Venter's three newly formed not-for-profit organizations are dedicated to exploring social and ethical issues in genomics, and to seeking alternative energy solutions through microbial sources.
In 1992, Dr. Venter founded The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). There he and his team decoded the genome of the first free-living organism, the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae. Before that, while working at the National Institutes of Health, he developed a revolutionary new strategy for gene discovery called expressed sequence tags (ESTs). He also taught at the State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. In 1967-68, he served in the Navy Medical Corps in Vietnam.
The author of more than 200 research articles, Dr. Venter has received many honorary degrees and scientific awards, including the 2002 Gairdner Foundation International Award and the 2001 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize. He recently was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and also is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and The American Society for Microbiology.
Dr. Venter received his bachelor's degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology from the University of California at San Diego.