Richard Myers on Educational Outreach
  Richard Myers     Biography    
Recorded: 29 May 2003

I got interested in, we call it outreach, but really what that means is teaching science to people outside of the graduate and medical school environment. So I teach, at Stanford I’ve taught at undergraduate, graduate, and medical school level since I’ve been there. And I taught at UCSF before I came to Stanford. But we also spend a significant effort on this outreach where we go out to the schools, to lay groups. I speak to, I’ve spoke to a retirement community recently for instance. Judges, people who are often very, very interested in what it is… The public really wants to know what we’re doing, and we owe it to them to tell them.

But also it’s remarkable when you talk about human biology, and especially genetics, and genomics, people are just really interested in it. Because, it’s us. And we’ve learned so much. They have a vague notion sometimes of what the Genome Project is. But they really, really want to know, what it is that’s going on in the laboratories. And not just the disease, but all the things about our population, their ancestry. People are very interested in lots of things like that. I’ve been doing this for many, many years, this is not something new. It is a major part of our effort at HudsonAlpha, we consider that just as important as the research and the economic development from the companies.

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.