Richard Myers on Functional Genomics
  Richard Myers     Biography    
Recorded: 29 May 2003

...Well many things. I think functional genomics, really high through-put biology is one of the places where I’ve focused a lot of my work. Ah, and certainly the rest of the world is experiencing lots of advances because of that. It’s really using the genome sequence, the Human Genome sequence, which we just finished in 2003 to study all sorts of problems. We’ve continued to do a lot of DNA sequencing in our group of many other organisms. But my major interest is the human, so I’ve focused on functional, really understanding the function of the human genome, as well as some human genetics as well.

My original training in graduate school and as a post doc was in transcriptional regulation, but in the old fashioned way where we studied one protein that bound to DNA and really focused in on how it effected transcription actually and DNA replication. And that was really what the world did, and still does, to understand the sort, of the detailed mechanisms of transcription. What I started doing in the early, I guess really before the sequence finished, but around 2000, was to try to start looking at transcription on a global level, a whole genome scale level. We’ve done that in a variety of ways.

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.