Science Great To Visit Australia

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3rd December 2009, 12:30pm - Views: 592
Science Great to Visit Australia

Australians look set to welcome a science superstar to our shores with one of the world's most influential geneticists visiting Melbourne next year.

Dr J Craig Venter, best known for his role in sequencing the human genome, will deliver the Graeme Clark Oration on 17 March 2010 in his only Australian appearance.

"Dr Venter has an international reputation as a groundbreaking scientist and innovator, and we are delighted to welcome him to Melbourne to inform and inspire the general public," said Professor Iven Mareels, member of the ICT for Life Sciences Forum Management Committee and Dean of the Melbourne School of Engineering, University of Melbourne.

A regular in Time Magazine's `World's Most Influential People' List, J Craig Venter successfully mapped the first complete, six billion letter genome of an individual from his own DNA sequence. He then went on to be the first to sequence and publish the first complete human genome in 2007.

In addition to these remarkable feats, the pioneer and his team at the J. Craig Venter Institute have circumnavigated the globe, sifting the sea to discover more than 20 million new genes.

On this voyage, Venter discovered hundreds of genes involved in converting sunlight into cellular energy which, if able to be reconstructed, could transform the world's battle against climate change.

"Venter's latest quest is to build new genomes to cure our dependence on oil, and he is collaborating with ExxonMobil to develop next generation algal biofuels a challenge which, if achieved, will impact on each and every one of us," said Professor Mareels.

"A quick glance at his amazing achievements and it becomes quite clear that this is a must-see event for anyone with an interest in learning about what innovations the world has in store for it over the next decade."

Victorian Minister for Innovation Gavin Jennings said he was delighted that Dr Venter would be delivering the 2010 Graeme Clark Oration in Melbourne.

"Dr Venter is one of the most important scientists of our time and his lecture will further drive discussion on the future of genomics and bio fuels, reinforcing Victoria's position as a centre for innovative thinking," said Mr Jennings.

Dr J Craig Venter is Founder and President of the J.Craig Venter Institute, a not-for-profit, research and support organization with more than 400 scientist and staff dedicated to human, microbial, plant and environmental genomic research, the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics, and seeking alternative energy solutions through genomics. He is also founder and CEO of the company Synthetic Genomics Inc, a privately held company exploring energy and environmental solutions to global challenges. Dr Venter was recently presented with the National Medal of Science from President Obama in a White House ceremony - the highest honour awarded to scientists by the United States government.

The Graeme Clarke Oration delivered by Dr J Craig Venter will be held at 6pm on Wednesday 17 March 2010 at the Melbourne Convention Centre. To be notified when this free public event is open for registration, please visit www.ict4lifesciences.org.au. Note registration will be essential as places are limited.

About ICT For Life Sciences Forum: The ICT for Life Sciences Forum is a network connecting researchers in Melbourne interested in the convergence between the physical and life sciences. The Forum's annual showcase event - the Graeme Clark Oration - is held in honour of the achievements of Professor Graeme Clark, A.O., who developed the first multi-channel cochlear implant in Melbourne in the mid 1970s.

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SOURCE: ICT for Life Sciences Forum


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