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Leader of the Human Genome Project Honored With the Prestigious Inamori Foundation's Inaugural Prize for Ethics

Saturday, September 6, 2008 General News J E 4
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CLEVELAND, Sept. 5 Francis S. Collins, M.D.,Ph.D., a physician-geneticist and leader of the Human Genome Project, has beenawarded with the new Inamori Ethics Prize from the Inamori InternationalCenter for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University.

Modeled after the Nobel and Kyoto Prizes for science, technology,philosophy and the arts, the Inamori Ethics Prize instead honors outstandinginternational ethical leaders. It is presented annually to an individual whohas demonstrated exemplary ethical leadership and whose actions and influencehave greatly improved the condition of humankind. The prize recipient alsoreceives a $25,000 cash award intended to support his or her ongoing work.

Noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes, Collins serves asdirector of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at theNational Institutes of Health (NIH). His laboratory is dedicated toresearching both rare and common diseases and has discovered a number ofimportant genes, including those responsible for cystic fibrosis,neurofibromatosis, Huntington's disease, adult onset diabetes andHutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, a dramatic form of premature aging.

Collins led the multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional Human GenomeProject, an international effort to map and sequence the three billion lettersin the human DNA, offering the first complete view of the "human instructionbook." With its ultimate goal of improving human health, many consider theproject to be one of the most significant scientific undertakings of our time.All the groundbreaking data are now available to the scientific communitywithout restrictions on access or use.

"Throughout his long and distinguished career, Dr. Collins hasconsistently emphasized the importance of ethical and legal issues ingenetics, while at the same time working tirelessly to improving the lives ofpeople worldwide," said Shannon French, director of the Inamori Center.

SOURCE Case Western Reserve University
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