Richard Myers on Becoming Director of HudsonAlpha
  Richard Myers     Biography    
Recorded: 29 May 2003

So I’ve been at Stanford for fifteen years in the Department of Genetics. And I decided about a year ago that I will be moving in July of this year, 2008, to head up a new institute that’s just been built at… in Huntsville, Alabama. It’s called the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Jim Hudson is one of the two founders. Jim has been a player in the Genome Project since almost, well really since the beginning. He had a company called Research Genetics that really helped the whole community get the resources that we needed in order to be able to do high-throughput sequencing and then, actually a lot of high-throughput biology, as well.

So, I’ve known Jim since the early days of the Genome Project. And he wanted to start this non-profit research institute several years ago. And I was on an advisory board with several other scientists who sort of planned out and worked him about what the institute could be. And the more we worked on what it could be, the more I got interested in the idea of directing it. So, I accepted that job. I’m not moving until this summer. We already have a beautiful building. It’s a non-profit research institute. In the same building we have 12 biotech companies. And the idea is for the non-profit to be an academic style research institute, totally devoted to whatever we want it to be. And it’s going to be genomics. And we will have 12 to 16 faculty, or what we call Investigators. We’ve already started hiring those and have 6 so far.

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.

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