World-famous biochemist-geneticist to speak at GSBS commencement

May 15, 2014


J. Craig Venter
Photo courtesy Public Library of Science

Biochemist-geneticist J. Craig Venter, PhD, best known for mapping and sequencing human DNA, will deliver on Friday the commencement address for UNT Health Science Center’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences graduation ceremony.

The ceremony is from 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium.

Dr. Venter was a primary force behind the Human Genome Project and is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his contributions to genomic research. In addition, his team has also sequenced the fruit fly, mouse and rat genomes.

In recent months, the genome pioneer has made headlines for joining with a biotechnology company to develop pig lungs that have been genetically altered to be compatible with humans.

Meanwhile, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price will deliver the commencement address at the School of Health Professions graduation ceremony on Friday. Robert Earley, President and CEO of JPS Health Network will be commencement speaker at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine graduation ceremony on Friday.

Dr. Venter is founder, chairman and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a not-for-profit research organization dedicated to human, microbial, plant, synthetic and environmental genomic research. In 2005, he founded Synthetic Genomics Inc., a firm dedicated to commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global needs such as new sources of energy, food and nutritional products, and vaccines. 

He was a professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute before he joined the National Institutes of Health, where he developed an evolutionary new strategy for rapid gene discovery.

Dr. Venter was listed on Time magazine’s 2007 and 2008 Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

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