Richard Myers on Importance of Collaborations
  Richard Myers     Biography    
Recorded: 29 May 2003

Well, I didn’t initiate the Cancer Genome Atlas, of course, that’s been around. But the idea of being able to do all of those things together in you know sort of on the same set is something we initiated on these other cancers ourselves. Because we don’t want to wait. We have the technology to do this now. Certainly we have, the expertise is around and the laboratory. And lots and lots of motivation. I do think we’re learning things rapidly in cancer because of these new genomic tools.

One of the lessons we learned very early in the Genome Project, if anyone thinks that they can do this on their own they’re nuts. It just doesn’t work that way. It really is a community effort for a lot of the things. Many of the projects that we do are part of consortia. And that’s the only way to make them work. It does mean that you have to spend a lot of time on conference calls, and there’s a fair amount of effort to coordinate those. But even when you’re not working in a consortium like some of the projects that I’ve told you about, we work it and sort of organize those out of my laboratory or another person’s laboratory, and work in collaboration. And some of those have four or five labs involved, and cohorts, meaning the patients and the individuals and the phenotypes and having people who are experts in the diseases are really one of the stumbling blocks for this, it’s really important.

Richard Myers, biochemist and geneticist, is currently Director of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama.

Following his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Alabama (B.S., 1977), Dr. Myers earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley (1982) with Robert Tjian. His postdoctoral work was performed at Harvard University with Tom Maniatis. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the University of California at San Francisco, and remained there until 1993 when he moved to Stanford University School of Medicine. He had been Professor and Chair of the Department of Genetics and Director of the Stanford Human Genome Center until July 2008 when he was named to his current position.

Dr. Myers is a member of numerous committees concerned with human genetic diseases and the Human Genome Project including the Genome Resources and Sequencing Prioritization Panel (GRASPP) and is Chair of the Genome Research Review Committee of the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health. He is also a member of the Biology and Biotechnology Program Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Myers has received numerous awards including the Pritzker Foundation Award (2002), the Darden Lecture Award from the University of Alabama (2002), the Wills Foundation Award (1986-2001) and was a Searle Scholar (1987-1990).

Myers was involved in every human genome meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and has attended CSHL symposia since 1986.