Watt Webb to receive Hollaender Award in Biophysics from National Academy of Sciences
Watt W. Webb, Samuel B. Eckert Professor in Engineering at Cornell University, will receive the 2010 Alexander Hollaender Award in Biophysics from the National Academy of Sciences. The award recognizes his research “pioneering the applications of rigorous physical principles to the development of optical tools that have broadly impacted our ability to examine biological systems.” DOE supported Webb’s research for new DNA sequencing technologies as part of the Human Genome Program that is now ready for commercialization. This research led to a new approach that rapidly produces sequences of 1000 or more base pairs. The longer “reads” make it easier and faster to assemble complete sequences of long strands of DNA. Pacific Biosciences will be shipping the first instruments based on this technology this spring to ten research institutions, including the DOE Joint Genome Institute.