J. Craig Venter BA, PhD

Recipient of the Canada Gairdner International Award, 2002
"For his major advancement of whole genome sequencing and its applications to microbial, human and other genomes."

Institute for Genome Research, Rockville, Maryland, USA


Dr. Craig Venter has played a vital role in the sequencing and analysis of the human genome. His accomplishments in the development of methods for decoding genetic sequences, notably expressed-sequence tags (ESTs) and in bioinformatics, have provided a foundation for understanding the relationships between species and the biology of microbes. He is known for the so-called "shotgun sequencing" strategy, which accelerates sequencing and is now a central component of all whole genome-sequencing strategies.

Dr. Venter served with Navy Medical Corps in Vietnam in 1967-68 and received a PhD from the University of California, San Diego, in 1975. He joined the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo and later went to NIH in the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In 1992 he left NIH to found The Institute of Genomic Research (TIGR). In 1998, with the Perkins-Elmer Corporation, he founded Celera Genomics. His many honors include the 2001 Taylor International Prize in Medicine from the Robarts Research Institute, London, Ontario.