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J. Craig Venter, Human Genome Pioneer, to Receive Award at Vietnam Veterans of America's National Leadership Conference

WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The visionary biologist and intellectual entrepreneur J. Craig Venter will receive the Vietnam Veterans of America Excellence in the Sciences Award at VVA's biennial National Leadership Conference on Saturday, July 19, in Greenville, South Carolina. The honor will be presented at the conference's final event, the Awards Banquet, at the Hyatt Regency Greenville, the site of the Leadership Conference.

"Craig Venter has been one of the world's most accomplished -- and famous -- scientists since he pioneered the mapping of the human genome in 2000," said VVA President John Rowan. "What many people don't know is that Dr. Venter served as a Navy corpsman -- a medic -- in the Vietnam War, an experience that he says has shaped much of his adult life. We are extremely proud to honor a fellow Vietnam veteran for his unmatched contributions to science in decoding the human genome, and for the forming of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a world leader in genomic research."

Chris Noel, who as a young actress put her career on hold to host a popular radio show in Vietnam on the Armed Forces Network, will receive the President's Award for Excellence in the Arts at the Awards Banquet. W.D. Ehrhart, the celebrated poet, writer, scholar and teacher who served as a U.S. Marine in the Vietnam War, will receive the VVA Excellence in the Arts Award.

The Leadership Conference brings together hundreds of Vietnam veteran advocates from around the nation. They will take part in four days of seminars, meetings, and other activities. Opening Ceremonies will be held Wednesday, July 16. VVA's supporting organization, the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, will hold its biennial convention and national elections, and the Veterans of Modern Warfare (VMW) will have its founding National Convention concurrently with the Leadership Conference.

SOURCE Vietnam Veterans of America
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