World famous biochemist says genetic blueprint will be part of regular medical care

The day is not far off when healthy individuals can get their genetic blueprint analyzed as part of a check-up, world-renowned biochemist J. Craig Venter, PhD, told the audience at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences commencement ceremony.

"You and your children will have your genomes sequenced as a regular part of your medical care," he said.

Dr. Venter is best known for sequencing the human genome. He is founder, chairman and CEO of J. Craig Venter Institute, a not-for-profit research organization dedicated to human, microbial, plant, synthetic and environmental genetic research.

By sequencing the genome, which contains about 3 billion pieces of genetic information, medical treatment can be tailored to an individual’s specific needs.

"If you have lung cancer, the most important information to have is your genetic code," Dr. Venter said.

Dr. Venter also told the Class of 2014 that they will have many opportunities to blaze new trails in research and push the limits of science. He encouraged graduates to go out and explore.

"You have a totally unique chance to contribute," he said. "We seem only to be limited by our imaginations."

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