George Church


United States
Also Known As
George McDonald Church, Father of synthetic biology

George Church, professor at Harvard & MIT, co-author of 490 papers, 130 patent publications & the book "Regenesis", developed methods used for the first genome sequence (1994) & million-fold cost reductions since (via NGS and nanopores), plus barcoding, DNA assembly from chips, genome editing, writing & recoding. He co-initiated the BRAIN Initiative (2011) & Genome Projects (1984, 2005) to provide & interpret the world's only open-access personal precision medicine datasets. Church joined the Harvard Medical School faculty as an assistant professor in 1986. and is now the Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and a Member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology faculty, described in Wikipedia as a "unique collaboration... integrat[ing] science, medicine and engineering to solve problems in human health" at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) at MIT. George Church, along with a group of visionaries and scientists, including leaders from Harvard Medical School's Personal Genome Project, co-founded Veritas Genetics, with the idea of bringing the benefits of genomic data to millions of people globally. George Church’s company Rejuvenate Bio is going beyond research with mice and is working on a dog trial at the current time. Once the treatment is working in dogs human trials would be around two years away. As George Church see’s it dogs are a market in themselves so revenue from these trials will enable research with developing the therapies for humans, assuming the FDA don’t get in the way! Assuming the FDA do delay the work research could be carried out abroad in maybe Japan or Singapore. Church has received accolades including election to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. He received the American Society for Microbiology Promega Biotechnology Research Award and the heptannual Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science of the Franklin Institute. He authored the NewScientist "top science book," Regenesis (on synthetic biology) with Ed Regis. Church is a regular contributor to and has appeared widely in the media, including TED venues, NOVA, Faces of America, Charlie Rose on PBS, The Colbert Report, and Xconomy. Other honors include the Triennial International Steven Hoogendijk Award in 2010 and the Scientific American Top 50 twice (for “Designing artificial life” in 2005 and "The $1000 genome" in 2006). Newsweek picked Church for their 2008 “Power of Ideas” recognition in the category of Medicine (for the Personal Genome Project) Forbes and Wired have noted Church's openness about his health issues. He has been an early advocate of online, open education since 2002

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