Speaker's Biography:

Craig Venter
Founder and President, J. Craig Venter Institute; Co-Founder and CEO, Synthetic Genomics Inc.

Craig Venter is the Founder and President of the J. Craig Venter Institute, and Co-Founder and CEO of Synthetic Genomics Inc. Venter's development of whole genome shotgun sequencing led the way to faster genome sequencing of a variety of organisms, including the human genome. His revolutionary techniques have also opened the door to new fields, such as metagenomics (DNA analysis of whole microbial populations) and synthetic genomics. He and his team continue to blaze new trails in genomics and are working to create a synthetic genome in the hopes of developing new and clean fuels, and have recently published the first complete diploid genome. A Navy medic who served in Vietnam, he returned home to earn a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and later a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego. Venter was named one of the 100 most influential people of 2007 by Time magazine. His autobiography, A Life Decoded, was published in 2007.