J. Craig Venter addresses UCSD grads

Genomics leader part of ceremony


Genomics pioneer J. Craig Venter urged a class of 56 graduates to trust their instincts, in a speech on Saturday at the University of California San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences commencement.

Venter is most notable for his work with the National Institute of Health, his development of expressed sequence tags and his publication of the first complete human genome in 2007.

Dr. Palmer Taylor, dean of the Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, said Venter was chosen to speak for his many achievements in the field and his inspiring personal story.

“Our most creative alumnus would be J. Craig Venter, making him a perfect fit for the Class of 2009,” Taylor said.

Venter, who called himself a poor student, said he first moved to Orange County to take up a career as a surfer, but was drafted off his surfboard to become a medic in Vietnam.

After returning to school and receiving a bachelor’s in science in biochemistry from the College of San Mateo, he transferred to UCSD and earned a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology in 1975.

“Almost everything you learn here is irrelevant, science is in its early stages and in 10 years if you’re practicing what you’ve learned now you’ll probably be guilty of malpractice,” Venter said. “But what you do learn, is how to think.”

As the new graduates pursue careers in pharmaceutical and related sciences, Venter said it is very important that they remember the changing nature of science.

Of the 2 million adverse reactions to medications reported last year, 100,000 resulted in death. Venter said that it is the graduates’ job to combat those numbers through increased knowledge of the human genetic code and its role in pharmacology.

“These are just hints of things to come,” Venter said. “But it’s not just about the changes you’ll be facing, it’s about you, and this milestone.”

Related posts:

  1. Keep an eye on science
  2. Festival celebrates science in San Diego
  3. Harvard, UCSD researchers identify genetic influence in social networks
  4. Wine Guy: UCSD grads reinvent themselves with wine
  5. Santa Fe Christian grads make decisions

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=4436

Posted by on Jun 11, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6





  • Rancho Santa Fe resident among seven new trustees joining UC San Diego Foundation Board
    Proactive stewards, higher education advocates and expert financial strategists, UC San Diego Foundation trustees play an important role in cultivating community partnerships and garnering resources to support UC San Diego research, teaching and public service initiatives. Trustees govern the Foundation, including managing net assets totaling $717 million, i […]
  • Rancho Fire District to recognize Fire Prevention Week with two events
    National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 5-11, and the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District (RSFFPD) will host two community events to recognize the annual awareness campaign. The first will be an Open House from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 4 at RSF Fire Station 2, 16930 Four Gee Road in 4S Ranch. Guests will be able to tour the fire station and traini […]
  • New Rancho Santa Fe Library Branch Manager welcomes community input
    Rancho Santa Fe Library’s new Branch Manager Haley Kwon has been charmed by the village’s “sweet, down-home” character, the simple pleasure of visiting the local library and people’s enjoyment of a slower speed of time. “It’s a small town and the library is a place for people to connect,” Kwon said. “People have a different sense of time here, they come in t […]