Michael Morgan on Human Genome Project: Funding by Wellcome Trust
  Michael Morgan     Biography    
Recorded: 08 May 2008

So when I was at the Wellcome Trust and when we decided to fund John Sulston to start sequencing the human genome that is when we built the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus modeled on Cold Spring Harbor and established the Sanger Center as a major sequencing center. So I in essence managed with Francis Collins and Ari Patrinos the international project to sequence the human genome. So that really began in earnest in 1996 when we had the first Bermuda meeting, where the ground rules were established as to how the task was going to be divided up between the laboratories that were going to complete the task, how it was going to be funded, how the data was to be managed, how the data were to be released, etc, and of course - by this time, Dr. Watson, Jim Watson, was no longer involved directly in the genome project. In fact, I’ll not forget the day I was being driven to the law courts in London to meet the – we had run into difficulties with the local planning people – about developing the Hinxton campus. And we had engaged a Queens Counsel barrister to help with our case that we were developing.

As I was in the taxi my phone rang, it was Jim Watson telling me that Craig was about to make a big announcement with respect to human genome sequencing. So we started rallying the troops so to speak and it just happened by complete coincidence that the following week the Wellcome Trust was considering a new application from John Sulston and his colleagues for the Trust to give them money to fund the sequence of one third of the human genome. And at the same time, the coincidence was that the Biology of the Genome meeting was about to take place. The Trust approved that award – Craig came – I may have gotten the timing a little bit wrong here. I may have stuck things together a bit.

Michael Morgan, currently professor emeritus of biology, specialized in plant ecology and bioclimatology. He earned his BA from Butler University, MS and Ph.D form University of Illinois. He received the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Founders's Association Award for Excellence in Teaching and Sabbatical during the 1991-92 academic year with the Conservation Research Group, School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Michael Morgan is a member of American Association for the Advancement of Science, Ecological Society of America, American Institute of Biological Sciences, Society for Conservation Biology and Natural Areas Association.

More Information: UWGB