Robert Waterston on Challenges of the HGP
  Robert Waterston     Biography    
Recorded: 01 Jun 2003

Well, there were the—the hard parts are all the personnel issues that came with managing a big center. I mean that was something I was not trained to do. And something that I probably became a scientist to avoid in many regards. It just, you know, that’s not something—I don’t enjoy trying to do all these things so much. But it worked. Externally, the spring of—the year of ’98 to ’99 was not a good year. That was tough.

Robert Waterston received his bachelor's degree in engineering from Princeton University (1965) and both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago (1972). After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, he joined the Washington University faculty in 1976 where he is the James S. McDonnel Professor of Genetics, head of the Department of Genetics, and director of the School of Medicine’s Genome Sequencing Center, which he founded in 1993. In early 2003 Dr Waterston took on the role of Chair of the department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, was a recipient of the International Gairdner Award, the Genetics Society of America’s Beadle Award, the Dan David Prize, and the Alfred P. Sloan Award from the GM Cancer Research Foundation.

Waterston attended the worm meetings at Cold Spring Harbor Lab and in 1989 Watson supported Waterston’s proposal to use the worm as a model organism in the Human Genome Project.