James Wyngaarden on Competition in Science: Public vs Private Work on the HGP
  James Wyngaarden     Biography    
Recorded: 18 Aug 2003

Well, Venter has the same issue. And the competition there, I think, has been healthy. Venter probably has done what he has done fully, as ably as NIH. He’s done a lot of model organisms. So the two of them together are a pretty powerful force. They’re different. Fortunately, there’s enough room for both. I think they’re both constructive.

In their own ways, yes. Neither one will say much good about the other obviously, but— Well, I think they’ve both been very successful and contributed. And I suspect that we’re better off for having both of them.

James B. Wyngaarden is a medical doctor, biochemist and medical science advisor. He served as director of the National Institutes of Health, associate director for Life Sciences in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, and as director of the Human Genome Organization. Wyngaarden is currently part of the Washington Advisory Group, LLC and director of four biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies. Wyngaarden is also co-author of the textbook The Metabolic Basis of Inherited Disease.

He researches the regulation of purine biosynthesis, the production of uric acid and he helped initiate the use of allopurinol, a drug developed as an anticancer agent and now used as a treatment for gout. While serving as director of the National Institutes of Heath, he enlisted the help of Dr. Watson in 1988 to begin the Human Genome Project. Jim obliged and joined the NIH as the associate director for Human Genome Research, while still acting as director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.