ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 6, 2011) Ohio University and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announce that the bioengineering profession's highest honor, the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize, has been awarded to Leroy Hood of Seattle, Washington, for his discoveries related to the sequencing of the human genome.
Hood, president and co-founder of the Institute for Systems Biology, will receive the $500,000 award for automating DNA sequencing that has revolutionized biomedicine and forensic science.
"Dr. Hood's contribution has advanced health and quality of life in the U.S. and around the world, and have enhanced the education of future engineering leaders," said NAE president Charles Vest. "Recognizing him not only rewards great accomplishments but also shines a light on the importance of work that may inspire others to build on their achievements."
Hood developed the automated DNA sequencer, which enabled the rapid, automated sequencing of DNA, making a significant contribution to the mapping of the human genome and revolutionizing the field of genomics.
To date, more than 1,000 genomes have been revealed using the automated DNA sequencer, transforming many areas of biology and accelerating the pace of scientific discovery in ways that will profoundly impact research in the coming decades.
The advancement has also led to expressed sequence tagging, which ultimately helped to predict gene function, and the ability to identify genes involved in diseases. Hood's work has also led to a change in how pharmaceutical companies make drugs, and has made an economic impact estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars in the life science and healthcare industries.
Dennis Irwin, dean of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University, notes that the invention of the automated DNA sequencer is unique in the history of the Russ Prize because of its application to forensic science.
|Contact: Colleen Carow|