ANN ARBOR — Everist Genomics, a rapidly growing personalized medicine company, today announced that world-renowned scientist and genome sequencing pioneer J. Craig Venter will be the keynote speaker for its March 26th Gala Dinner at the Field Museum in Chicago.

Venter achieved global prominence in 2001 for being the first to sequence the human genome, accomplishing this feat two years in advance of the government-sponsored Human Genome Project and at a fraction of the cost. He received acclaim again in 2010 for leading a team of scientists to create the first synthetic life form, a single-cell bacterium known as Mycoplasma laboratorium. His contributions to the field of genomics — including the decoding of his own genome — have enabled the new era of personalized medicine, in which treatment of medical conditions are tailored to individual patients.

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Venter, who was twice named to Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people, founded the J. Craig Venter Institute, a research organization with more than 500 scientists and staff dedicated to human, microbial, plant, synthetic and environmental genomic research and the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics. Venter is also founder of Synthetic Genomics Inc., a privately held company dedicated to commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global needs such as new sources of energy, new food and nutritional products, and next generation vaccines. He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2009, the highest honor awarded to scientists by the United States government.

In his speech, “A Celebration of the Science and Creativity Driving the New Era of Personalized Medicine,” Venter will discuss how breakthroughs in basic science research, such as genome sequencing, are paving the way for a new medical paradigm. This goal will become more attainable as the cost of genome sequencing continues to drop and advances in computational science provide stronger insights about the underlying connections between genes and human physiology.

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“Personalized medicine is evolving at a rapid pace, maturing from what was once a vague concept debated in research labs to the defining characteristic of 21st Century healthcare,” said Thomas Everist, chairman of the board of directors of Everist Genomics. “The goal of our Gala is to provide the healthcare community with an opportunity to celebrate the advancements made over the last decade.   We are certain that Dr. Venter’s transcendent expertise in genomics, along with his adeptness as a speaker, will stimulate a thoughtful dialogue about the role that personalized medicine will play in improving care.”

Everist Genomics offers diagnostics, prognostics and therapeutic selection technologies. The company launched its first product last year with the introduction of OncoDefender-CRC, a prognostic test for predicting the risk of disease recurrence for early stage colorectal cancer patients. The company expanded its pipeline with the creation of a new franchise of diagnostic and prognostic tests aimed at melding personalized medicine with mobile health platforms. Everist Genomics mobile health diagnostics include CardioDefender, the world’s first hospital quality smartphone ECG system,  and AngioDefender, the first tablet computer to assist physicians in diagnosing atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease in asymptomatic patients.

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