Dr. Jonathan Rothberg is best known for inventing high-speed, “Next-Gen” DNA sequencing. He founded 454 Life Sciences, bringing to market the first new method for sequencing genomes since Sanger and Gilbert won the Nobel Prize in 1980. Dr. Rothberg sequenced the first individual human genome (The Watson Genome, Nature), and initiated the Neanderthal Genome Project with Svante Paabo. Under his leadership, 454 helped understand the mystery behind the disappearance of the honey bee, uncovered a new virus killing transplant patients, and elucidated the extent of human variation—work recognized by Science magazine as the breakthrough of the year for 2007. The New England Journal described Dr. Rothberg’s innovation as "The New Age of Molecular Diagnostics...", Science magazine called it one of the top 10 breakthroughs for 2008. His contributions; cloning by limited dilution, and massively parallel DNA sequencing, are the basis of all subsequent high-speed sequencing methods.
Dr. Rothberg went on to invent semiconductor chip-based sequencing, and sequenced Gordon Moore as the first individual to be sequenced on a semiconductor chip (Nature). In 2010, Ion Torrent was acquired by Life Technologies for $725 million, the largest acquisition of its kind. In addition to founding 454 Life Sciences and Ion Torrent, Dr. Rothberg Founded CuraGen Corporation, Clarifi, RainDance Technologies, Butterfly Networks, Lam Therapeutics, Quantum-Si, and Hyperfine Research.
Dr. Rothberg was born in 1963 in New Haven, Connecticut. He earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.S., M.Phil, and Ph.D. in biology from Yale University. He is the first person to be named a World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneer three separate times, is an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year and received The Wall Street Journal's First Gold Medal for Innovation. He received Nature Methods First Method of the Year Award, The Irvington Institute's Corporate Leadership Award in Science, the Connecticut Medal of Technology, the DGKL Biochemical Analysis Prize, and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Jonathan is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, and is a life trustee of Carnegie Mellon University.
It is with great sadness that we are announcing the loss of Dr. Philip Whitcome. He passed away on December 6, 2005. He has served as a dedicated board member to TRI for four years. He will be greatly missed by all. In his memory, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society.
Philip J. Whitcome, Ph.D., an advisor to 454 Corporation and CuraGen, has served as a director of Avigen since December, 1992 and in April, 1995, was elected Chairman of the Board. From 1988 to 1994, Dr. Whitcome was President and Chief Executive Officer of Neurogen Corporation. Prior to that, Dr. Whitcome served in several roles at Amgen Inc., and also served as Manager of Corporate Development for Medical Products at Bristol- Myers, and held research and marketing management positions with the Diagnostics Division of Abbott Laboratories, a pharmaceutical and medical products company. Dr. Whitcome holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California at Los Angeles, an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Physics from Providence College.