Synthetic Genomics, Inc. has announced that Aristides Patrinos, Ph.D., will become president of the company effective February 9, 2006.
Dr. Patrinos joins Synthetic Genomics from the Department of Energy (DOE)'s Office of Science where he was the associate director of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research.
As part of his duties there, Dr. Patrinos directed research activities including the DOE human and microbial genome programs, structural biology, nuclear medicine and health effects, global environmental change, and basic research underpinning DOE's environmental restoration effort.
Founder and CEO, J. Craig Venter commented, "While still only less than a year old, Synthetic Genomics, like the field of science in which it is situated, is a young, dynamic, and growing company."
"As part of our aggressive strategy to advance this complex area of research and the commercial opportunities it presents, we are pleased that Ari Patrinos will become president."
"Ari's rare combination of breadth and depth of knowledge in areas affecting environment and energy, along with his solid, steadfast leadership style make him an ideal person to help drive the business and science goals of Synthetic Genomics."
In his role as president, Dr. Patrinos will help shape the research and business direction at the Company.
Scientists at the Company, co- led by Dr. Venter and Hamilton O. Smith, MD, are developing synthetic organisms with the hope that they could be engineered into modular "cassette" based systems to execute specific functions using reprogrammed cells as bio-factories.
Dr. Patrinos is well known for his leading role in the development of the United States government-funded Human Genome Project helping to guide the historic sequencing of the human genome to completion, a feat which was announced in a White House ceremony in 2000.
As part of his leadership in the Human Genome Project, Dr. Patrinos helped create the DOE's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) in 1997 to unite the expertise and resources in genome mapping, DNA sequencing, technology development, and information sciences pioneered at four DOE genome centers.
Dr. Patrinos also developed and launched the DOE's Genomes to Life Program (GTL), a research program dedicated to developing technologies to understand and use the diverse capabilities of microbes for innovative solutions to DOE energy and environmental mission challenges.
In addition to his expertise in human and microbial genomics, Dr. Patrinos has represented DOE on the Interagency Program on Global Change Research, and on other interagency and international bodies dealing with biological and environmental issues.
He was one of the original architects of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), a $2B per year research effort involving thirteen agencies that addresses the causes and effects of global climate change.
Dr. Patrinos also led the expanded DOE component of the USGCRP to attack the principal uncertainties of climate change prediction.
"Biotechnology is poised to have a huge impact on the production of clean and renewable energy and on the development of environmentally benign industrial processes," said Dr. Patrinos.
"I am thrilled to be joining Craig Venter and his talented and multi-disciplinary SGI team as I believe the company will play an important role in this new scientific revolution."
Dr. Patrinos, a native of Greece, received his undergraduate degree from the National Technical University of Athens and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and astronautical sciences from Northwestern University.
He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, a Member of the American Geophysical Union, a Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a Member of the Greek Technical Society.
Dr. Patrinos is the recipient of numerous award and honorary degrees including three Presidential Rank Awards and two Secretary of Energy Gold Medals, as well as an honorary doctorate from the National Technical University of Athens.