Michael Ashburner on Craig Venter and Celera
  Michael Ashburner     Biography    
Recorded: 31 May 2003

I mean, have you interviewed Gerry Rubin? Did Gerry tell you about this? When Craig announced in Plimpton that he was going to sequence the human genome commercially, and that he was going to do a small model organism as a test. But he didn’t say which organism it was. And as he left the room, he tapped Gerry Rubin on the shoulder and said, “Gerry, I want to speak to you.”

And I wasn’t there. I came the next day and the place was crazy. And people were running around like chickens without a head here, totally crazy because this announcement of Craig that he was going to sequence the human genome commercially.

Michael Ashburner, a leader in Drosophila Genetics and bioinformatics, received his B.A. (1964), M.A. (1968), Ph.D. (1968) and Sc.D. (1978) from the University of Cambridge, where he is currently professor of Biology in the Department of Genetics and a Professional Fellow of Churchill College.

He has been the joint head of European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and was co-founder of Flybase, the primary online database for Drosophila genetics and molecular biology, the Gene Ontology Consortium, an effort to coordinate biological databases through a defined taxonomy of gene function, and the Crete Meetings, a bi-annual event focusing on the developmental and molecular biology of Drosophila melanogaster.

Among many honors, he is the recipient of the G.J. Mendel Medal (Czech Republic 1998) and the George W. Beadle Medal (Genetics Society of America 1999).

Michael Ashburner