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DNA sequencing pioneer receives 2011 Russ Prize
Date:1/6/2011

"The sequencer has enabled the development of important drugs that are crucial to the realization of personalized medicine and therefore have saved lives. It's also true that many people wrongly accused of crimes have been exonerated and been given back their lives," he said.

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis said Fritz and Dolores Russ established a legacy with the Russ Prize.

"The prize is just one way that we can help honor the achievements of extraordinary engineers whose work improves the human condition," he said. "Ohio University is privileged to be a part of the Russ's extraordinary legacy of fostering and honoring life-changing engineering research and advances across the globe."

Hood is the sixth recipient of the biennial Russ Prize, which is modeled after the Nobel Prize. He will receive the award at a ceremony in Washington D.C., on Feb. 22.

About Leroy Hood

With a research interest in genetics, Hood recognized the need for new tools to decipher biological information. Integrating new ideas in chemistry, engineering, and software, he led a team at the California Institute of Technology that developed the sequencer in the 1980s. In 1981, he founded Applied Biosystems, Inc (ABI), an instrument company to commercialize the DNA sequencer and three other instruments developed in the Hood lab. By the late 1980s, ABI had developed a commercial DNA sequencer that could be used in any laboratory.

Prior to automated sequencing, the process of manual sequencing was slow and laborious. It took 30 years, for instance, to sequence the genome of a cold virus. Today, the genome of a virus of the same size can be sequenced in less than an hour.

Hood was an early pioneer in promoting the Human Genome Project and served on a National Academies committee that ultimately made the recommendations that led to the project's start in 1990.

He has won numerous awards in recognition
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Contact: Colleen Carow
carow@ohio.edu
740-593-1488
Ohio University
Source:Eurekalert

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