Recorded: 29 May 2003
Well I mean I love this meeting; it’s been my favorite meeting. I was bragging that I had been to every one of them. But Jan Witkowski looked it up and I missed a couple in the early ‘90s. And I don’t remember why I missed those, but I’m very disappointed. But I’ve been to all, nineteen other ones. And it’s really been, it’s amazing how different it is. The first meeting that we had here, and the Symposium in 1986 that really started the idea of this meeting. We were talking about you know, a gene family that somebody was…; I mean there were eight talks on the immunoglobulin gene family you know, just looking in at a few genes.
And really didn’t even have the notion that we were going to sequence the human genome I mean at the very beginning of this. And every year it just… what I love about how the meeting is changed is that its lots and lots of functional, lots of biology. It’s not just human, it’s lots of organisms. I think that’s a really important part of it. And this year I think what’s knocking everybody’s socks off is the technology. The new technology and I’m referring to the next gen sequencing mostly, but others as well. Computational methods that are new technology for analyzing these large data sets. And there’s enough new information from this to come out to make it clear that we really have to do this, this is really exciting.
We truly are just soaring up in the amount and types of information that we’re getting. And every time that we get it and we analyze it, we learn something new and exciting, and often surprising too. So it’s really exciting to see the meeting. This is a particularly fun one I have found because of the new technologies have been around for a year or so but now people are getting a lot of data with them and we’re able to see what they’re learning from them.
Richard Myers, biochemist and geneticist, is currently Director of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama.
Following his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Alabama (B.S., 1977), Dr. Myers earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley (1982) with Robert Tjian. His postdoctoral work was performed at Harvard University with Tom Maniatis. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the University of California at San Francisco, and remained there until 1993 when he moved to Stanford University School of Medicine. He had been Professor and Chair of the Department of Genetics and Director of the Stanford Human Genome Center until July 2008 when he was named to his current position.
Dr. Myers is a member of numerous committees concerned with human genetic diseases and the Human Genome Project including the Genome Resources and Sequencing Prioritization Panel (GRASPP) and is Chair of the Genome Research Review Committee of the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health. He is also a member of the Biology and Biotechnology Program Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Myers has received numerous awards including the Pritzker Foundation Award (2002), the Darden Lecture Award from the University of Alabama (2002), the Wills Foundation Award (1986-2001) and was a Searle Scholar (1987-1990).
Myers was involved in every human genome meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and has attended CSHL symposia since 1986.