George Church takes lead role commercializing genomics

One of the advisers to GnuBio is the ubiquitous Harvard professor George Church, who has helped a whole slate of sequencing outfits get started in recent years. In an in-depth profile in today's New York Times, Church talks about his myriad enterprises, ranging from the genome sequencing company Knome (pronounced know-me), to involvements with Alacris and Joule Unlimited. Add it all up, and Church is currently working with 22 different enterprises, many engaged in sequencing work.

"George has been an important figure in molecular genetics and its evolution, including genomics and bioinformatics," says UCLA's Dr. Edward McCabe. "If we are to understand the complexity of biological systems, then integration on the scale George recommends will be essential."

Even more prominent than all of his private endeavors, Church's Personal Genome Project plans to sequence the genomes of 100,000 people. Eventually, that will all add up to a mountain of genetic data on diseases and the drugs and lifestyle decisions that can stop them from taking a toll.

"The goal of getting your genome done is not to tell you what you will die from," he tells the Times, "but it's how to learn how to take action to prevent disease."

- here's the article from the New York Times