Press Release

Claire Fraser, Ph.D. is named new TIGR President

September 21, 1998

ROCKVILLE, MD -- September 21, 1998 -- The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), the Nation's leading microbial genomics institution, announced today the appointment of Claire M. Fraser, Ph.D., as TIGR's new President. Dr. Fraser is replacing TIGR's founder, J. Craig Venter, who is now President of Celera Genomics Corporation. Her appointment is effective immediately.

Dr. Venter served as TIGR's President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the last 6 years. He will retain his position of Chairman of the Board, as well as a new position of Chief Scientific Officer.

Dr. Fraser is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytecnic Institute and received a BS in Biology, summa cum laude, in 1977. She received a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1981. She spent eight years at the National Institutes of Health and was appointed Chief of the Section of Molecular Neurobiology at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Dr. Fraser joined TIGR in 1992 as Vice President for Research and was initially involved in studies to find differences in gene expression in human tumors and matched normal tissues and in using a genomic-based approach to understand the molecular basis for tumor development. More recently, she has been involved in whole genome sequence analysis of microbial genomes, leading the teams that sequenced the genomes of Mycoplasma genitalium, the smallest genome of any known free-living organism, and the two spirochetes, Treponema pallidum, the cause of syphilis in humans and Borrelia burgdorferi., the organism responsible for tick-borne Lyme Disease. Dr. Fraser has over 130 publications in leading scientific journals, is a reviewer for nine journals, has edited two volumes in the Receptor Biochemistry and Methodology series, is currently serving on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Biological Chemistry and Comparative and Microbial Genomes, and is a member of six professional societies. She was selected as one of Maryland's Top 100 Women in 1997.

"As TIGR's new President", Dr. Venter says, "Dr. Fraser will bring to TIGR an outstanding blend of scientific excellence, technical ability and proven leadership skills."

TIGR's major funding is from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation. Of the 16 microbial genome sequences published to date, TIGR has sequenced seven, including the last three. TIGR established the pathway and methodology for whole genome sequencing which is being used by most investigators today, and is routinely one of the most cited organizations with respect to its publications and is regarded as the model for doing genome research throughout the world.

TIGR, located in Rockville, MD, is a not for profit research organization, with interests in structural, functional and comparative analysis of genomes and gene products in viruses, eubacteria, pathogenic bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotics, both plant and animal. TIGR currently has more than 185 faculty and staff members, including informatics and software engineering groups, post-doctoral fellows, research associates, laboratory technicians, and other support personnel. TIGR encourages collaborations with academia and industry, and supports visiting faculty members, and student interns.