Benjamin Rush Scholars to Honor Dr. J. Craig Venter on April 21

On April 21, William & Mary Law School's Benjamin Rush Scholars will recognize Dr. J. Craig Venter's contributions to the health field by awarding him the 2011 Benjamin Rush Medal.  Venter is among the nation's most highly regarded researchers on the human genome.

Venter founded Celera Genomics to sequence the human genome using new tools and techniques he and his research team developed. The successful completion of this research culminated with the February 2001 publication of the human genome in the journal Science. He is the founder and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a not-for-profit, research and support organization with more than 400 scientists and staff dedicated to human, microbial, plant and environmental genomic research, the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics, and the pursuit of alternative energy solutions through genomics.

The medal will be presented in room 120 at the Law School at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 21.  Admission to the event is free and all are welcome to attend.

The medal is named in honor of Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), a physician, medical professor, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Rush founded the first clinic in the United States devoted to medical care of the poor, wrote one of the most influential books on psychiatry of his day, and was an outspoken social reformer.

The medal is presented annually by the Benjamin Rush Scholars, a select group of law students who have distinguished themselves by their research and writing in health law and policy.  This year's scholars are John Annand '11, Diana Kaneva '11, Mark Knee '11, Johanna Orleski '11, and Samantha Soller '12.