Richard Cotton founded the Human Variome Project in 2006 and served for a number of years as the Project's Scientific Director. His vision in the field of the collection and sharing of human genetic variants is legendary. He was one of the first to realize that DNA sequencing would change the world and that genetic diagnostics would be based on sharing information on genes, variants and phenotypes. Without sharing this data, diagnosis would not be possible and optimal care to the patients and their family's non-existent.
Richard also realised that to be successful in this endeavour, we should involve the whole world. He supported the attendance and active participation of scientists from developing countries in all these initiatives and promoted special sessions for platform presentations to present the successes achieved as well as the specific challenges faced by those working in the developing world.
If it was not for his leadership, generosity of spirit, his unrelenting good humour, and persistent optimism in putting all these people, efforts and achievements together, we can only wonder where we would be in DNA-based diagnostics and the delivery of genetic healthcare.
Sadly, Richard Cotton passed away unexpectedly in June 2015. In his memory, the Human Variome Project has established the Richard G.H. Cotton HVPI Memorial Fund, to support the coordination component of the work that he dedicated much of his later years to.
To Make a Donation to the Richard G.H. Cotton HVPI Memorial Fund
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Human Variome Project International Limited
200 Berkeley Street
University of Melbourne VIC 3010
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