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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

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David Botstein, pioneer of modern genetics, named director of genomics institute

Princeton University has named David Botstein, a renowned geneticist, educator and pioneer of the Human Genome Project, as the new director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics.

Botstein will succeed Shirley M. Tilghman, who was the founding director of the institute and became president of the University in 2001, and James Broach, who is interim director. Botstein's appointment will begin July 1, 2003.

"It is an exciting moment for the institute, as the doors open this fall, to have a director of such distinction," said Tilghman. "David Botstein is one of the nation's most distinguished scientists and has a great love of undergraduate teaching as well as a wonderful track record of training graduate students."

Princeton established the genomics institute in 1999 and is now completing construction of a building for it, the Carl Icahn Laboratory. The institute's mission is to build on the recently completed genome projects and investigate how networks of genes work together to create complex biological systems.

Botstein, who is the Stanford Ascherman, M.D., Professor of Genetics at Stanford University, is uniquely positioned to lead that effort, said Tilghman. He has made fundamental contributions to modern genetics, including the discovery of many yeast and bacterial genes and the establishment of key techniques that are commonly used today. In addition, in 1980, Botstein and three colleagues proposed a method for mapping genes that laid the groundwork for the Human Genome Project.

Botstein said he is attracted to Princeton by the opportunities for both research and teaching. "The emergence of the data from the Human Genome Project completely changes the way biology can and will be done," said Botstein. "The question of what kind of preparation young people should have in order to enter into this exciting new world requires serious thought."

The full story is available in the news release.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601

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