Professor George Church – Why Sci? Interview and Questions
February 16, 2016
George Church is a renowned American geneticist, molecular engineer, and chemist, born on August 28, 1954. His early education was at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, followed by Duke University, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in zoology and chemistry. Church’s research work began at Duke University, focusing on biochemistry. Despite facing academic challenges early in his graduate studies, he persevered and eventually earned a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University in 1984.
Church’s career is marked by pioneering contributions in genomic science. He developed the first direct genomic sequencing method in 1984, contributing significantly to the Human Genome Project’s initiation. His innovations in molecular multiplexing and tags, homologous recombination methods, and DNA array synthesizers have been instrumental in advancing genomic science.
Currently, Church is a Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and a Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT. He leads the Synthetic Biology group at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, where his work includes the development of technologies for synthesizing whole genes and engineering whole genomes. His contributions to genomic science and biomedicine have led to the founding of several companies in fields ranging from gene therapy to synthetic DNA and full human genome sequencing.
Church is co-founder of Colossal –
Due to new gene editing technology breakthroughs in recent years, the Colossal project aims to introduce intact preserved wooly mammoth genes into the Asian Elephant to help reconstitute important lost far north latitude grassland ecosystems due to this species and other contemporary large as well as important small fauna extinctions. “De-extinction through genetic engineering is an incredible milestone,” asserts George Church, Ph. D., Harvard and MIT geneticist and Founder of Colossal.
Church has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2011 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute, and he has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering.
His influence extends beyond academic research, as he is also involved in directing the U.S. Department of Energy Technology Center and the National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence in Genomic Science. His ongoing work continues to shape the fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology.
George Church – Professor of Genetics – Harvard Medical School; Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT,
Church Labs – Harvard Medical