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Robert Waterston Genetics

Through his leadership of the project to sequence the genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, Robert Waterston established methods and strategies that brought whole-genome sequencing of metazoans to reality. His laboratory extended these to the human genome, constructing a clone-based physical map that served as the framework for the public Human Genome Project. His leadership in the Human Genome Project was essential in fostering and maintaining the international collaboration. He also led projects to define both what is conserved over evolution between mouse and human genomes and what has changed between chimpanzee and human genomes. His laboratory also contributed to the initial human Single Nucleotide Polymorphism map. Through his efforts, all of this sequence is in the public domain without restriction, where it continues to foster discovery and medical advance. More recently, Waterston has directed his efforts toward discovering how the information stored in a genome produces a living organism. His own laboratory again focuses on the nematode C. elegans, developing new tools to understand the network of developmental control.


George W Beadle Award, 2000[3].

Gairdner Award, 2002.

Dan David Prize, 2002.

Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Prize, 2002.

Gruber Prize in Genetics, 2005.

Relevant Publications

R.H. Waterston et al, "Initial sequencing and analysis of the mouse genome," Nature, vol. 420, no. 6915, pp. 560-562, 2002.

International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium, "Initial sequencing and analysis of the human genome," Nature, vol. 409, pp. 860-921, 2001.

International Human Genome Mapping Consortium, "A physical map of the human genome," Nature, vol. 409, no. 6822, pp. 934-941, 2001

The International SNP Map Working Group, "A map of human genome sequence variation containing 1.42 million single nucleotide polymorphisms," Nature. vol. 409, pp.928-933, 2001.

The C. elegans Sequencing Consortium: Genome sequence of the nematode C. elegans: A platform for investigating biology. Science, vol. 282, pp. 2012-2018, 1998.



Advisor Genetic Networks


University of WashingtonDepartment of Genome Sciences


PhD University of Chicago

MD University of Chicago

BEng Princeton University


United States

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