The $1,000 Genome: The Pros and Cons of Reading Your DNA
Thursday October 14, 2010
Free and open to the public
Kevin Davies (Ph.D.) is a British science writer and editor. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Bio•IT World, the founding editor of Nature Genetics, and the author of three books, including his latest, The $1,000 Genome.
Dr. Davies is the founding editor-in-chief of Bio-IT World, a bi-monthly trade publication covering the indispensable role of information technology and computer science on the life sciences and the drug discovery industry. The publication was created by IDG in 2002 as a sister publication to MacWorld and PC World, and is now published by Cambridge Healthech Institute.
Dr. Davies is the author of three books. His first, Breakthrough: The Race for the Breast Cancer Gene, co-authored with Michael White, told the story of the search for the BRCA1 gene. In 2000, he published Cracking the Genome, which one reviewer described as a "rollicking" account of the race for the human genome between a publicly funded international consortium and Craig Venter's biotech company, Celera Genomics. The book has been translated into 15 languages.
Dr. Davies' new book, published in September 2010 by Free Press/Simon & Schuster, is entitled The $1,000 Genome. It explores the remarkable growth of personal (consumer) genomics, which enables the public to learn information about their health risks and ancestry from their own DNA, and the emergence of next-generation DNA sequencing technologies that will soon make human genome sequencing routine for about $1,000.
Dr. Davies was educated in England before moving to the United States to pursue further research. He studied biochemistry at St. Peter's College, Oxford University, and earned his Ph.D in genetics from the University of London, where he carried out research at St Mary's Hospital Medical School on cystic fibrosis. After two postdoctoral fellowships in Boston at the Whitehead Institute and Harvard Medical School, he decided to pursue a career in science away from the bench. In 1990, he was hired by the late Sir John Maddox to join the editorial staff of Nature magazine and assigned to its Washington DC bureau.
In 1992, Dr. Davies founded Nature Genetics, the first Nature spin-off journal in 20 years. Nature Genetics quickly established itself as the world's leading genetics research journal, enjoying the highest impact factor of any research journal for two consecutive years. It also set the stage for Nature Publishing Group to create a large family of specialized sister journals.
In 1997, Dr. Davies took a position as science editor and program administrator at the headquarters of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the nation's largest medical institute. In 200, he was named editor-in-chief of Cell Press, shortly after its acquisition by the Dutch publishing giant, Elsevier. He had special responsibility for journals such as Current Biology and Chemistry & Biology, and helped conceive and launch Cancer Cell.
Dr. Davies lives with his family in Lexington, Massachusetts. In his spare time, he enjoys refereeing soccer, writing music, and living vicariously through his two teenage children.
About The J. Roderick Davis Lectures
J. Roderick Davis is a 1958 graduate of Samford University (then Howard College). After graduation, he received advanced degrees in English and theology from Boston, Yale, and Columbia universities, followed by more than two decades of teaching in universities in New Jersey and New York. In 1990, he was chosen by his alma mater to come back as the Dean of Samford’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences. In his eleven years in that office, he helped enlarge the College faculty by thirty percent, created individual departments in Geography, Political Science, Philosophy, and Classics, and directed the streamlining and re-focusing of the university’s nationally-recognized core curriculum.
When Dean Davis retired from his office in 2001, his colleagues decided to honor him by establishing a lecture series in his name that would bring to campus recognized scholars and activists in areas of interest to students in the Arts and Sciences.
Previous Davis Lecturers and topics include:
2010 - Dr. Kevin Davies, British science writer and editor, "The $1,000 Genome: The Pros and Cons of Reading Your DNA"
2009 - Dr. Orville Vernon Burton, An officer of the Congressional National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Foundation, "The Age of Lincoln"
2008 - Eugene Robinson, Journalist and Commentator for the Washington Post and MSNBC, "Election 2008: The Highest Stakes"
2007 - Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, the Aspen Institute, Author, Einstein: His Life and Universe: "Einstein's Creativity"
2006 – Dr. Juan Hernandez, President, Organization for Hispanic Advancement: “The New American Pioneers: Why Are We Afraid of Mexican Immigrants?”
2005 – Dr. Fawaz A. Gerges, Professor of International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies at Sarah Lawrence College: “The Far Enemy: How and Why Jihad Went Global”
2004 – Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain, Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School: “Democracy and Human Dignity”
2003 – Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, Director of the National Cancer Institute: “The Future of Cancer: Progress with a Purpose”
2002 – Susan Eisenhower, President of the Eisenhower Institute: “Leadership in Conflict”
The Wright Center (building no. 6 on this map) is located on Montague Drive on the southern side of Samford University's campus. When entering campus from the main Samford entrance, off of Lakeshore Drive, take a left onto Montague Drive.