J. Craig Venter is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his extraordinary contributions to genomic research. He is Founder and President of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit, research and support organization with more than 400 scientists and staff dedicated to human, microbial, plant and environmental genomic research, the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics, and seeking alternative energy solutions through genomics. Dr. Venter founded The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), a not-for-profit research institute, where in 1995 he and his team decoded the genome of the first free-living organism, the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae, using his new whole genome shotgun technique. Dr. Venter and his teams have now sequenced hundreds of genomes using his techniques and tools. In 1998, Dr. Venter founded Celera Genomics to sequence the human genome using new tools and techniques he and his team developed. The successful completion of this research culminated with the February 2001 publication of the human genome in the journal, Science. He and his team at Celera also sequenced the fruit fly, mouse and rat genomes. Dr. Venter and his team at the Venter Institute continue to blaze new trails in genomics research and have published numerous important papers covering such areas as the first complete diploid human genome, environmental genomics, and synthetic genomics. Dr. Venter, one of the most frequently cited scientists, is the author of more than 200 research articles and the memoir, A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life. He is also the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, public honors, and scientific awards. Dr. Venter is a member of numerous prestigious scientific organizations including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Society for Microbiology. Dr. Venter was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2008.