David Bentley on International Collaboration
  David Bentley     Biography    
Recorded: 14 May 2004

There are a number of countries involved in the lead-up to the genome. Not all of them then took part in the scale-up, the ones in the implementation of the human genome project perhaps. Clearly, the U.S., U.K., Japan, Germany, France and various other countries were involved peripherally or in the lead up to it, Holland and Italy and so on, a number of other European countries.

Then there were recent members, which really came, China in particular, one of the latest entrants into the human genome project. That had a tremendous effect—the joining of such a broad group of countries and cultures. That probably has a long-standing value in the future as well, because, of course, the Human Genome Project has to be put in the context of very different cultures, very different societies. [To] have all of those different cultures, or at least, a good cross section of them involved at the outset provides for greater awareness from each of the countries as to what the challenges they may face having the human genome in their country.

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.