join Oakland University in welcoming Dr.
J. Craig Venter for his presentation, "Our
Genomic Future" on October 22nd at
3:00 p.m. in the Banquet Room of the Oakland
Dr. Craig J. Venter, president of The Center for the Advancement
of Genomics, has played a leading role in sequencing and
analyzing the human genome. In his presentation, Dr. Venter
will detail the lessons gleaned from sequencing the human
genome as well as a multitude of other species' genomes.
He will speak about the impact genomic information could
have on biology and medicine; evolutionary history; and the
complex relationship between genes, environment, disease
The lecture and reception are open to the public at no
charge. Co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences'
Center for Biomedical
Research, with support from the
Distinguished Programs Fund and the Student
The Varner Vitality Seminar Series, named in honor of Oakland's
first chancellor, Durwood "Woody" Varner, aims
to energize and sustain the highest academic and scholarly
aspirations of the university community. Dr. Venter's accomplishments,
together with his bold visions and his passion for inquiry
and discovery, make him an ideal Varner Vitality speaker.
Related Event: Professor Doug Wendell,
from the Department of Biology, will lead a discussion on
the work on Dr. Craig
Venter in The Honors
College (112 Vandenberg Hall) on Monday,
20 October, 2003, at 2:00 p.m.
Craig Venter's scholarly success came relatively late
in life. He was a poor student in high school, unable
to memorize for the kinds of tests that were popular
in the 1950s. He was an expert swimmer, though, and
as a California surfer, he developed a keen intuition
for the best waves.
His analytical and intuitive skills enabled him to
excel in triage in Vietnam, an assignment that attracted
his attention to the fragile boundary between life
and death. After returning from overseas duty, he enrolled
in a junior college, where he came under the influence
of an English teacher who allowed students to create
their own assignments
in a composition class.
Venter was one of the few takers, but this opportunity
to follow his own lights enabled him to exploit his
gifts for intuition and metaphorical thinking as compensation
for his struggle with memorization. For example, the "shotgun" metaphor
eventually became a key to unlocking the human genome.
In addition to his celebrated scientific accomplishments
and productive use of imagination in scientific inquiry,
Dr. Venter is notable as an entrepreneur whose restless
quest for knowledge has propelled him to seek ways
to cut through bureaucracy and funding limitations.
--These biographical notes were adapted by Ronald
A. Sudol from "The Book of Life: Craig Venter's
Shotgun Genomics" by Ted Anton, a chapter from
his book "Bold
Science: Seven Scientists Who Are Changing Our World”
Articles by Dr. Venter:
Articles about Dr. Venter & his research:
Oakland University, Kresge Library
2200 N Squirrel Rd., Rochester, MI 48309
(248) 370 - 4426