Ron Plasterk on The Future of Zebrafish Genomics
  Ron Plasterk     Biography    
Recorded: 07 Jun 2004

The first thing that we all want is to have the genome sequence finished. That’s another thing, a couple of years ago our lab started to make ordered back clone libraries by fingerprinting. That was a huge success when it was done by John Sulston for the worm genome. It wasn’t there for the fish, so we started that. Now the Sanger Center and Tübingen and we have teamed up in an effort to map and sequence the whole fish genome. I think in a year, well you never know for sure, a year, a year and a half we will have a complete map and sequence of the fish genome available. That will really make a difference. This is done in collaboration—it’s a consortium between the Sanger Center, the people in Tübingen, so that’s Yanni Nüsslein and the people around her, and our lab at Hubrecht. It’s a really good collaboration. It’s really making a lot of progress.

Ronald Plasterk, is a Dutch politician of the Labour Party and successful scientist and molecular genetics. He studied biology at the Leiden University and economics at the University of Amsterdam. In 1981 he received the Dutch doctorandus degree in biology. In 1984 he earned a doctorate in mathematics and natural sciences from the University of Leiden.

After receiving his Ph.D. he moved to California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and worked as a post-doc (1985-1986) on the transposon sequences in DNA in the parasite Borrelia hermsii. Plasterk was also a post-doc at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (1986-1987) where he studied Caenorhabditis elegans, a nematode that is used as a model organism. His major area of research include genetics and functional genomics.

He came back to the Netherlands in 1987 and became a group leader and member of the board of the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam. Between 1989 and 2000 he was director of the research school of oncology at the institute. From 1997 till 2000 he was professor of molecular genetics at the University of Amsterdam. In 2000 was appointed director of the Netherlands Institute for Developmental Biology (Hubrecht Laboratory) and at the same time he was a professor in developmental genetics at Utrecht University.

In February 2007 Ronald Plasterek was appointed minister of Education, Culture and Science in the fourth Balkenende government and he decided to end his scientific career. He held this position until February 2010. He is a member of the House of Representatives and Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

More Information: Wikipedia