John Craig Venter is an American biologist known for his work in sequencing the human genome, as well as for founding Celera Genomics, The Institute for Genomic Research, and the J. Craig Venter Institute.

John Craig Venter. Source:

The Human Genome ProjectEdit

Venter is best known for his participation in the Human Genome Project as part of the private sector (Celera Genomics). Venter was frustrated with the pace of the public project, and thus sought funding for his company in order to spur progress towards sequencing the human genome. Shotgun sequencing was employed as the main technique, which was at the time not fully accepted as a viable option for sequencing so large and complex a genome as that of humans. In the years since, it has become a standard procedure for sequencing projects. Originally Celera Genomics was to sequence composite DNA from multiple individuals, but Venter substituted his own partway into the project. In the year 2000 Venter and Francis Collins of the NIH along with representatives from the U.S. public genome project announced it's completion, and the results were published on February 15th, 2001.

Interestingly, after the completion of the project Venter was fired from Celera due to long-standing disagreement with the primary investor. Venter stated this his involvement with the private sector was only due to his desire to accelerate scientific progress; once the project was finished his role was complete.

J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and Institute for Genomic Research (IGR)Edit

The JCVI and IGR are non-profit conglomerate organizations founded by Venter in 2006. The insitute focuses on various research topics including genomic studies of plants, pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms, genomic medicine, sequencing technology, public policy with regards to the implications of genetic information, and synthetic biology. In 2010 he was credited (along with his team) for producing the world's first "synthetic lifeform" by synthesizing an entire bacterial genome and inserting it into another cell type.

Enthusiasm for BoatingEdit

Venter describes hismelf as an avid boating enthusiast: in his early years he spent little time studying for school and instead spent his days sailing and surfing. Unsuprisingly, he has spent a few years sailing around the world on his personal yacht collecting samples for the Global Ocean Sampling Expedition and sequencing the genomes of the various aquatic lifeforms he collected.


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