Recorded: 14 May 2004
Any international relations are awfully important, particularly in genetics, and from the start the ability to come together relatively informally, and to really share ideas on an international level lent an enormous depth and, indeed, speed to the process of discovery. I think almost annually when we planned to meet either at this meeting, the Cold Spring Harbor meeting, or Bermuda, the progress that had been made since the last year, the last year almost looked unrecognizable. There are only a few moments when one looked back a year—and then to realize just how far we had come was incredible. I don’t know how many other fields move at that pace, but clearly this one did. The sheer demand, the sheer resolution to study genomes was important, but also, of course, the openness of sharing all the ideas and all the technology from the international community, I’m sure was a tremendous boost and was very important for the success of the project
David Bentley, molecular biologist and geneticist, is currently Vice President and Chief Scientist of DNA Sequencing at Illumina, Inc., a commercial developer of genetic analysis tools and systems.
Educated at the University of Cambridge (M.A. in biochemistry) and the University of Oxford (Ph. D.), Dr. Bentley was a postdoctoral fellow, lecturer, and senior lecturer at Guy's and St. Thomas's Hospital in London from 1991 to 1993 where he studied mutations that cause genetic diseases, and a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Medical & Molecular Genetics at the University of London.
In 1993 he was brought to Sanger Centre (now known as Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute) as a founding member and head of human genetics by his mentor, John Sulston. Dr. Bentley led Sanger in their major contributions to the Human Genome Project, The Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) Consortium, and the International Haplotype Mapping (HapMap) Project. Dr. Bentley left Wellcome in 1985 to join commercial sequencer, Solexa, Inc., as Chief Scientist where he was responsible for the Company’s DNA sequencing applications development and projects. Solexa was acquired by Illumina in 2007.