Recorded: 20 Feb 2001
And similarly, of course, [Jim] Watson's key role in the genome project, the human genome project, and getting that started. Few people know that he actually inspired the Arabidopsis project. He was originally going to recommend Arabidopsis as one of the genomes to be sequenced at the NIH with the human genome project, along with Drosophila and C. elegans and other model genomes. Actually it ended up being taken over by the NSF but the head of the NSF will tell you that it was actually Watson who got that going. So I think this was the right place to be for that project.
Rob Martienssen is a plant molecular geneticist and professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1986 and did postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley.
As a young scientist, he worked closely with Barbara McClintock. He currently studies plant epigenetics and development using functional genomics. He was awarded the Kumho International Science Award in Plant Biology and Biotechnology (2001).