Richard Myers on The Boom in Genome Sequencing Technologies
  Richard Myers     Biography    
Recorded: 29 May 2003

Well I can’t believe that we are at this place right now with the way that sequencing has…, the new sequencing technologies. Just how quickly that burst onto the scene. Of course people, these companies and different laboratories have been working on these for years. But they work pretty well. They need to work a lot better and become a lot cheaper if we really want to be able to resequence everybody’s genome or any organism’s genome for you know, really low price and really easily. And what’s clear from the bit, the amount of information that’s coming out so far - it’s really worth it. I mean, we will never have too much sequence information.

We might not have enough computers to store or analyze them, but we’ll never have too much. We’ll always want more. And that’s been the surprise to me is how quickly that has happened since 2003. Again, it’s partly because there’s competition. It’s clear that the ability to do this is really valuable, so it really has stimulated a lot of groups. I think we’re going to see… I mean it’s nice to have the three platforms that we have out there now. I’m glad there’s more than one so they’re competing with each other. Maybe even this time next year we’ll be talking about completely new ones that’ll surprise us at how much faster and better and cheaper they are.

Well, I don’t want to advertise for them, but the three that are out there available now are 454 [454 Life Sciences] with the longer reads, Solexa/Illumina, Illumina bought Solexa, and ABI [Applied Biosystems, Inc.], the SOLiD system. All three of those platforms are as you see in this meeting are in lots of …or in quite a number of laboratories.

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.