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Archive - Jan 23, 2019

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Craig Venter Praises Mike Hunkapiller for Huge Contribution to Sequencing of Human Genome While Leading Applied Biosystems (ABI); Statement Comes in Fireside Chat at PMWC 2019

Perhaps the highlight of a spectacular second day of the Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC 2019), being held in Santa Clara, California January 20-23, was the late afternoon “Fireside Chat” among Ralph Snyderman, MD, Chancellor Emeritus, Duke University, & Director of the Duke Center for Personalized Health Care; J. Craig Venter, PhD, Founder & CEO, J. Craig Venter Institute; and Brook Byers, Senior Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer, and an early investor in Applied Biosystems and Genentech. In response to a BioQuick News question from a large audience (~400 top-level scientists) from the over 1,800 conference attendees from 35 countries, Dr. Venter said that he believed that the human genome would not have been sequenced, or certainly not sequenced as fast as it was, without the major technological contributions of Michael W. Hunkapiller, PhD (then President of Applied Biosystems (ABI), and now CEO & President, Pacific Biosciences), who had played a major role in the invention of the first automated DNA Sequencer in the laboratory of Leroy Hood, MD, PhD, at Cal Tech in the 1980’s. Dr. Venter also praised Dr. Hunkapiller for his more recent efforts leading the development of technology for long-read DNA sequencing (as many as 30,000 bases at one time) at Pacific Biosciences. Please stay tuned to BioQuick News for a more detailed article on this historic Fireside Chat in the coming days. Live hourly tweets from PMWC 2019 can be accessed at @JohnRONeill1 or #PMWC19. IMAGE: Photo shows Dr. Craig Venter with famed microbiologist Dr.