Scientists & Inventors
Human Genome Project (HGP) Scientists


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1952: Rosalind Franklin: takes the first x-ray structure pictures of DNA crystals which are the basis for the DNA double-helix model of Watson and Crick.

1953: James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins: discovery of the double helical structure of DNA.

1977: Allan Maxam, Walter Gilbert and Frederick Sanger develop effective methods for sequencing DNA based on gel electrophoresis methods to separate DNA fragments.

1980: David Botstein, Ronald Davis, Mark Skolnick and Ray White propose a method to map the entire human genome (Restriction Fragment-Length-Polymorphisms - RFLPs).

1981: Akiyoshi Wada proposes automated DNA sequencing and gets support to build robots with help from Hitachi.

1985: Robert Sinsheimer hosts a meeting at the University of California to discuss the feasibility of sequencing the human genome.

1983: Kary Mullis developed the polymerase chain reaction, providing a quick way to amplify a specific section of DNA; instrumental in analysis of genes.

1986: Leroy Hood and Lloyd Smith announce the first automated DNA sequencing machine.

1986: Charles DeLisi begins genome studies at DOE; instrumental in governmental funding of HGP by defending the Human Genome Project before the White House and the Congress.

1987: Helen Donis-Keller publishes the first genetic map (partial) and the application of genetic mapping methods to heritable disorders including cystic fibrosis.

1990: Eugene Myers, Stephen Altschul, Warren Gish, David J. Lipman, and Webb Miller at the NIH publish the BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool) algorithm instrumental for DNA and protein mapping and sequencing.

October 1990: HGP begins when DOE and NIH present their joint HGP plan to Congress.
1991: Craig Venter announces a strategy to find expressed genes using Expressed Sequence Tags (EST).

1992: Craig Venter leaves NIH to set up The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) - went on to become the world's leading center for microbial genome sequencing (it is now a part of the J. Craig Venter Institute.)

1992: David Page map the Y chromosome; Daniel Cohen map chromosome 21.

1993: Francis Collins is nominated the second director of National Center for Human Genome Research NCHGR.

1995: Craig Venter, Claire Fraser and Hamilton Smith publish the first sequence of a free-living organism, Haemophilus influenzae (bacterium).

1996: Yoshihide Hayashizaki The RIKEN mouse genome encyclopedia project - the first set of full-length mouse cDNA (complementary DNA synthesized from a messenger RNA) collection and sequence database.

1997: Fred Blattner and Guy Plunkett complete the DNA sequence of E. coli.

1998: Craig Venter founded Celera and declares that it will sequence the human genome within 3 years.

2003: James Kent wrote the GigAssembler program which produced the first publicly available assembly of the human genome, a working draft containing roughly 2.7 billion base pairs and covering an estimated 88% of the genome that has been used for several recent studies of the genome.

April 2003: Rough drafts for each human chromosome are completed
May 2006: Final HGP papers are published

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