Presidentís Address

Thursday, 12 February 2015: 6:00 PM-7:30 PM
Room 220A (San Jose Convention Center)
Dr. Gerald Finkís work in genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology has advanced our understanding of gene regulation, mutation, and recombination. He developed a technique for transforming yeast that allowed researchers to introduce a foreign piece of genetic material into yeast cells and study the inheritance and expression of that DNA. The technique, fundamental to genetic engineering, laid the groundwork for the commercial use of yeast as biological factories for manufacturing vaccines and other drugs, and set the stage for genetic engineering in all organisms. Fink chaired a National Research Council Committee that produced the 2003 report Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism: Confronting the Dual Use Dilemma, recommending practices to prevent the potentially destructive application of biotechnology research while enabling legitimate research. A founding member and past director of the Whitehead Institute, he received a Ph.D. in genetics from Yale University and a bachelorís degree in biology from Amherst College. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He has received the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, the Genetics Society of America Medal, the Emil Christian Hansen Award for Microbiology, the George W. Beadle Award, the Gruber Prize in Genetics, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Organizer:
Gerald Fink, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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