David Cox on Rich Roberts
  David Cox     Biography    
Recorded: 02 Jun 2003

When Craig was starting Celera he wanted Jim to know. Jim knew basically about Celera before Francis or anybody else did as a result of this board meeting, that Perkin-Elmer board meeting board before Celera. But interestingly because Craig and Jim weren’t always on like the closest terms so to say Craig didn’t call Jim directly. But what Craig did was [he] told Rich Roberts and Rich Roberts told Jim about Celera. So I always thought this was sort of like weird. And so Rich actually was involved with some of this early stuff. So by knowing about Celera per se through Rich, that Jim then was never in a position where he ever talked to Craig directly. And to this day I think it would have been better if we hadn’t had this sort of telephone tag going on. I had never spoken to Rich directly about exactly how he portrayed this or what he said to Jim. But I’ve interacted with Rich on these kinds of issues before and actually found him sort of very helpful as being a liaison between different people. Rich comes very much from the Cold Spring Harbor mode. He’s the enzyme guy, right. I mean he didn’t know so much at that time about human genetics. But he played a key role of basically being a modulator between these different groups. In particular between Craig and Jim with respect to Celera. I think it was important for Jim though because if Jim had talked directly with Craig then he would have already been viewed as being in one particular camp which would have limited his ability to go back and forth.

David Cox received B.A. and M.S. degrees from Brown University and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Washington. From 1980 to 1993, Dr. Cox held faculty positions in the Departments of Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. In 1993, he became Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine as well as the Co-director of the Stanford Genome Center.

Dr Cox was a co-founder of Perlegen, and has been Chief Scientific Officer of the Company since its formation in 2001. He has served on several international and national councils and commissions including the Council of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) and the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC). He presently serves as a member of the Health Sciences Policy Board of the Institute of Medicine. Dr Cox's honors include election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cox was a member of one of the first groups to begin sequencing the human genome. His relationship with Watson developed from his interest in Cox’s innovative approach to sequencing, called radiation hybrid mapping.

He attended the 68th Cold Spring Harbor symposium to celebrate the completion of the rough draft of the human sequence.