George Church facts for kids

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George Church
Church with a molecular model at TED 2010
Born August 28, 1954 (1954-08-28) (age 65)
MacDill Air Force Base, Florida
Residence Boston, Massachusetts
Citizenship U.S.
Nationality U.S.
Fields Genetics
Institutions Harvard, MIT
Alma mater Duke, Harvard
Known for DNA sequencing

George Church (born August 28, 1954) is an American molecular geneticist. He was one of the people who set out to analyse the human genetic code, the sequence of genes in human DNA.

Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT, and a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.

With Walter Gilbert he developed the first direct genomic sequencing method in 1984, and helped start the Human Genome Project in 1984 while he was a research scientist at newly formed Biogen Inc.

He invented ways of analysing huge amounts of chemical data, homologous recombination methods, and DNA array synthesizers. Automated sequencing & software in Genome Therapeutics Corp. gave the first commercial genome sequence, (the human pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994.

Church started the Personal Genome Project (PGP) in 2005, and in 2007 he founded the U.S. personal genomics company Knome (with Jorge Conde and Sundar Subramaniam).

Church does research on synthetic (artificial) biology and is director of the U.S. Department of Energy Center on Bioenergy at Harvard & MIT, and Director of the National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence in Genomic Science at Harvard.

He has been advisor to 22 companies, co-founding Codon Devices, a biotech startup dedicated to synthetic biology, which produces DNA sequences to order. He co-founded LS9, which is focused on biofuels or renewable petroleum technologies.

In 2009 he founded Pathogenica, with Yemi Adesokan, in order to pioneer commercial applications for pathogen sequencing technology.

In September 2010, Dr. Church was honored for his work in Genetics with the Mass High Tech All-Star Award. He is a senior editor for Molecular Systems Biology.

According to Forbes, Church suffers from narcolepsy.


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