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J. Craig Venter, Ph.D. to Receive National Medal of Science From President Obama
Date:9/18/2009

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., founder, president and chairman of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), has been named a recipient of this year's National Medal of Science. Dr. Venter will be awarded the Medal from President Obama on October 7 at a White House ceremony.

The National Medal of Science, the highest honor awarded to scientists by the United States government, was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. Nominees are selected by a committee of Presidential appointees based on their advanced knowledge in, and contributions to, the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences, as well as chemistry, engineering, computing, and mathematics.

According to the official citation, Dr. Venter is being recognized for his dedication to the advancement of the science of genomics, his contributions to the understanding of its implications for society, and his commitment to the clear communication of information to the scientific community, the public, and policymakers.

Dr. Venter and his teams have been continuous pioneers in the field of genomics. Beginning in the late 1980's they were the first to successfully use new automated DNA sequencers to sequence human genes. They then used these same technologies to develop and publish in 1991 Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs), Dr. Venter's new method to rapidly discover human genes. Since then more than 65 million EST's have been generated by the scientific community from a broad range of species.

In 1995 he and his team sequenced the first full genome of a free living organism, the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae, by a new method they developed called "whole genome shotgun sequencing". This first
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SOURCE J. Craig Venter Institute
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