David Haussler on Howard Hughes Medical Institute Meeting
  David Haussler     Biography    
Recorded: 08 May 2012

In 2001, I think about approximately about six months after the, six to eight months after the release of the genome and after the publication of the Nature paper in, in February 2001. So it must have been nine or ten months, or so…Gene and I organized a meeting with the help of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to discuss what is the state of the assembly of the Human Genome; how good is it, and in particular how does the Celera assembly of their genome compare to the public assembly of its genome. And this was something that was very difficult to discuss at, by the higher-ups in the project because there was so much malice, I think. And so, Jim – so Gene and I, specifically decided not to invite any of the principals [laughs]. So, we organized this meeting at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Jerry Rubin and others helped us do this and we did not invite Francis Collins; we did not invite Craig Venter; we did not invite Eric Lander; we did not invite Bob Waterston; we did not invite any of the principal leaders – just geeks – just computer whizzes. And it was an utterly pleasant meeting. There was one news report about it that called it a ‘love fest’ between the Celera people because geeks don’t care! They just wanted to talk about the genome and the software they had written to analyze the genome and all of the numbers and facts.

David Haussler (born 1953) is an American bioinformatician known for his work leading the team that assembled the first human genome sequence in the race to complete the Human Genome Project and subsequently for comparative genome analysis that deepens understanding the molecular function and evolution of the genome. He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, professor of biomolecular engineering and director of the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) on the UC Santa Cruz campus, and a consulting professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and UC San Francisco Biopharmaceutical Sciences Department.