The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation proudly presents the 2007 Genetics Prize to Maynard V. Olson, Ph.D. a founder of the field of genomics.
Maynard Olson created tools critical to each step of human genome sequencing as it developed from dream to reality. Then, through his articulate advocacy of high standards for accuracy and of free public access to data, he worked to ensure that DNA information is used to benefit humanity.
He used DNA sequence polymorphisms to connect functional genes with their physical locations. He made the first physical map of an entire eukaryotic genome, that of budding yeast. He invented the first practical system for cloning large segments of genomes and measuring their size. He introduced the now-universal common language for ordering and comparing genomic segments based on short stretches of unique sequence.
These techniques brought to fruition the convergence of genetic and physical mapping of the human and other genomes and laid the intellectual and practical groundwork for genomics.