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2003 Genetics Prize

David Botstein

David Botstein, Ph.D.

Director and Anthony B. Evnin Professor of Genomics

Lewis-Sigler Institute of Integrative Genomics, Princeton University

Botstein was educated at Harvard (A.B. 1963) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D. 1967). He then joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he rose through the ranks from Instructor to Professor of Genetics. In 1987 he moved to Genentech, Inc. as Vice President - Science, and in 1990 he joined Stanford University's School of Medicine as the Stanford W. Ascherman, MD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Genetics. On July 1, 2003 he became Director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute of Integrative Genomics at Princeton University.

Botstein's research has centered on genetics, especially the use of genetic methods to understand biological functions. The bacteriophage P22 was the focus of his earliest research, which included studies of DNA replication, recombination, head assembly and DNA maturation. Botstein also contributed to understanding of the regulation and evolution of temperate bacteriophages. In the early 1970's Botstein turned to budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and devised novel genetic methods to study the functions of the actin and tubulin cytoskeletons. Other scientific interests of the Botstein laboratory include protein secretion (both in bacteria and yeast) and the use of localized random mutagenesis technologies to understand protein structure/function relationships. Finally, Botstein began his theoretical contributions on linkage mapping of the human genome beginning in 1980 by suggesting, with collaborators, that restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) could be used to produce a linkage map of the human genome and to map the genes that cause disease in humans. Recent research activities include studies of yeast genetics, genomics and cell biology including the development (with J. Michael Cherry) of the Saccharomyces Genome Database; and (with P. O. Brown) the development of DNA microarray technology and analysis methods and their application to classifying and understanding human cancers.

Botstein was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1981 and to the Institute of Medicine in 1993. He has won several awards, notably the Eli Lilly Award in Microbiology (1978), the Genetics Society of America Medal (1988) and the Allen Award of the American Society of Human Genetics (1989). He served on many policy-making and peer-review committees, most recently the NAS/NRC study on the Human Genome Project (1987-88), the NIH Program Advisory Panel on the Human Genome (1989-90) and the Advisory Council of the National Center for Human Genome Research (1990-1995).