Richard Myers on Sequencing Mammals & Other Organisms
  Richard Myers     Biography    
Recorded: 29 May 2003

Well, I mean…with regard to functional genomics we really use the information from sequencing other mammals primarily to identify regions that are conserved. And we’ve, that’s guided us in some ways, or in some cases to look at particular regions. So That’s the main way that my lab has used that for functional genomics.

Just jumping to another topic, our, my Genome Sequencing Center which was involved in sequencing three of the human chromosomes through the Department of Energy funding, collaborating with Eddy Rubin and his group at the Joint Genome Institute. Since that time our group has sequenced something like 40 other organisms that the DOE mostly has defined. And these are ones that are involved in energy and environmental issues, some agricultural organisms as well. So lots of plants and interesting, and unusual organisms in some cases as well.

Well, I mean the poplar tree for instance is involved in the carbon cycle. There’ve been many, many… And these are chosen on the basis of having some impact on especially on environment and energy issues, but also quite important economic issues as well. And that group is continuing to sequence many other organisms as well with the JGI.

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.