Time magazine named UC Santa Cruz biomolecular engineering assistant professor Karen Miga one of its 100 most influential people of 2022. Miga co-led a team of scientists to complete the first gapless sequence of the human genome, building on the work of scientists who published the first draft of the genome in 2000. Lookout profiled her work in April.
UC Santa Cruz professor Karen Miga is one of Time’s most influential people of 2022. She joins quite an impressive list of achievers — “pioneers, leaders, and titans to artists, innovators and icons” — recognized this week in the magazine’s iconic annual issue.
Miga, an assistant professor of biomolecular engineering, co-led an international team of scientists over the past several years to complete the first gapless sequence of the human genome. Lookout profiled her and the larger work last month.
Time recognized co-leaders Miga, Adam Phillippy, Evan Eichler and Michael Schatz, who established the team of more than 100 scientists, known as the Telomere-to-Telomere (T2T) Consortium, who remained determined to sequence it.
The magazine announced the winners Monday with a story on each winner, including Miga and her team.
“I admire the T2T group’s willingness to grapple with the technical demands of this project and their persistence in expanding the genome map into uncharted territory,” Jennifer Doudna, a 2020 Nobel Prize winner, wrote in Time.
UCSC Chancellor Cynthia Larive sent a message to the campus community the next day, congratulating Miga and colleagues for their “wonderful achievement.”
“Our campus, as you know, has a long history of pioneering research advances in this field,” Larive wrote. “The first working draft of a human genome was assembled on our campus in 2000, which led to enormous leaps in our collective understanding of human biology and disease.”
She also noted that UCSC professor of astronomy and astrophysics Natalie Batalha made the list in 2017.