J. Craig Venter, noted geneticist and A.D. White Professor-at-Large, is the founder of Celera Genomics, whose team of researchers was one of two which first completed sequencing of the human genome. Beginning with his invention and development of EST sequencing to identify sequences of large numbers of expressed genes, Dr. Venter went on to determine the structural sequence of the hereditary materials of other mammalian, insect, bacterial, and viral genomes. This work increased our understanding of genetic diversity and enabled new strategies for improving the human condition.
The focus of his current research is on synthetic biology, and the intersection between genomics and environmental and energy policy.
Venter delivered a public lecture at Cornell on November 17, 2008 in Kennedy Hall's Call Auditorium.