Genomic leaders receive 2001 Biotechnology Heritage Award

Francis S. Collins and J. Craig Venter will be honored at the BIO 2001 International Convention and Exhibition

PHILADELPHIA, June 13, 2001 - The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) have awarded the Biotechnology 2001 Heritage Award to Francis S. Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute; and J. Craig Venter, president of Celera Genomics, for their key roles in the sequencing of the human genome.

The annual award, which will be presented at the BIO 2001 International Convention and Exhibition, recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of biotechnology through discovery, innovation, and public understanding.

We are thrilled to present the Biotechnology Heritage Award to Collins and Venter for their pioneering work, said Arnold Thackray, president of CHF. This prize represents our efforts to record the seminal moments in the development of biotechnology, he added.

When these institutions, led by Collins and Venter, published the human genome in June of 2000, it marked a milestone for biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical sciences. The determination of the precise sequence of the four chemical bases of DNA along human chromosomes opened up virtually limitless possibilities for science and technology. Future analysis of the human genome will allow researchers to identify new genes, along with their roles in health and disease. Moreover, the sequence of the human genome holds great promise to become, in the words of Nobel laureate and Caltech president David Baltimore, an engine of pharmaceutical discovery.

About Francis S. Collins
Collins is the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute and chief of Genetic and Molecular Biology at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 1992, Collins assumed leadership of the Human Genome Projec

Contact: Dr. Scott P. Lockledge
215-925-2222 ext.305
Chemical Heritage Foundation

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