8:30-10 am
Ballroom 1/2/3/4

Accelerating Discovery Through Supercomputing
J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer, Celera Genomics

The opening talk to this year’s SC2001 conference will highlight the following topics:
  • An overview of genomic and post-genomic challenges.

  • The role of supercomputers and algorithmics in drug discovery.

  • The unique nature and architecture of the discovery supercomputer.

  • Integrated hardware and software environments essential to the discovery process.

  • The future of high-performance computing in the post-genomics era.

J. Craig Venter, Ph.D. is the President and Chief Scientific Officer of Celera Genomics Corporation and the Founder, Chairman of the Board, and former President of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), a not-for-profit genomics research institution.

Between 1984 and the formation of TIGR in 1992, Dr. Venter was a Section Chief, and a Lab Chief, in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 1990, he developed expressed sequence tags (ESTs), a new strategy for gene discovery that has revolutionized the biological sciences. Over 72% of all accessions in the public database GenBank are ESTs from a wide range of species, including human, plants and microbes. Out of new algorithms developed to deal with 100,000s of sequences, TIGR developed the whole-genome shotgun method that led to TIGR completing the first 3 genomes in history and a total of 21 to date.

In May of 1998, Dr. Venter and Perkin-Elmer (now known as Applera) announced the formation of Celera Genomics. Celera's goal is to become the definitive source of genomic and medical information, thereby facilitating a new generation of advances in molecular medicine. Celera is building the expertise and information that will enable scientists to transform the way in which human and health problems are diagnosed and treated. On June 26, 2000, Celera announced that it had completed the first assembly of the human genome, revealing a total of 3.12 billion base pairs in the human genome. On February 16, 2001, Celera's manuscript on the sequencing of the human genome was published in Science magazine.

Dr. Venter has published more than 160 research articles and is one of the most cited scientists in biology and medicine. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2000 King Faisal Award in Science, and was recently selected as a runner-up for TIME magazine's Man of the Year. He was also selected as Man of the Year for the Financial Times. In addition to receiving honorary degrees for his pioneering work, he has been elected a Fellow of several societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology. He received his Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of California, San Diego.

Scientific papers published include the following:
Complementary DNA Sequencing: "Expressed Sequence Tags" and the Human Genome Project. Science 252, 1651-1656 (1991).

Potential Virulence Determinants in Terminal Regions of Variola Smallpox Virus Genome. Nature 366, 748-751 (1993).

Whole-Genome Random Sequencing and Assembly of Haemophilus influenzae Rd. Science 269, 496-512 (1995).

Initial Assessment of Human Gene Diversity and Expression Patterns Based upon 52 Million Basepairs of cDNA Sequence. Nature 377 suppl., 3-174 (1995). The Minimal Gene Complement of Mycoplasma genitalium. Science 270, 397-403 (1995).

Complete Genome Sequence of the Methanogenic Archeon, Methanococcus jannaschii. Science 273, 1058-1073 (1996).

The Complete Genome Sequence of the Gastric Pathogen Helicobacter pylori. Nature 388, 539-547 (1997).

The Complete Genome Sequence of the Hyperthermophilic, Sulphate-Reducing Archaeon Archaeoglobus fulgidus. Nature 390, 364-370 (1997). Genome Sequence of the Lyme Disease Spitochaete, Borrelia burgdorferi. Nature 390, 580-586 (1997).

Shotgun Sequencing of the Human Genome. Science 280. 1540-1542 (1998). Complete Genome Sequence of Treponema pallidum, the Syphilis Spirochete. Science 281, 375-388 (1998).

Chromosome 2 Sequence of the Human Parasite Plasmodium falciparum: Plasticity of a Eukaryotic Chromosome. Science 282 (5391), 1126-1132. (1998). Global Transposon Mutagenesis and a Minimal Mycoplasma Genome. Science 286, 2165-2169 (1999).

Sequence and Analysis of Chromosome 2 of Arabidopsis thaliana. Nature 402, 761-767 (1999).

Complete Genome Sequencing of the Radioresistant Bacterium, Deincoccus radiodurans R1. Science 286, 1571-1577 (1999).

The Genome Sequence of Drosophila melanogaster. Science 287, 2185-2204 (2000). Sequencing of the Human Genome, Science 291, 1304-1351, (2001).