Photo of Jonathan Marc Rothberg

Jonathan Marc Rothberg

  • National Medal of Technology and Innovation
  • Engineering

For pioneering inventions and commercialization of next generation DNA sequencing technologies, making access to genomic information easier, faster, and more cost-effective for researchers around the world.

Jonathan Rothberg on what motivates his research

Engineering and entrepreneurship are engrained in Jonathan Rothberg’s DNA—or at least in his DNA research.

Rothberg, who studied engineering and biology at Carnegie Mellon and Yale universities, has revolutionized DNA sequencing—the process that determines the exact order of nucleotides in a DNA strand—and has, in turn, opened doors for advances in medicine and engineering.

Currently, Rothberg serves as the chief strategy officer at 4catalyzer, an incubator that supports startups striving to transform 21st century medicine. Under Rothberg’s leadership, the company has decoded the Neanderthal Genome, helped crack the disappearance of the honeybee, sequenced the first personal genome and developed promising new drugs to treat breast cancer, among other feats.

And that’s just one bullet point on his curriculum vitae. Rothberg has also founded or co-founded seven companies, most centered on genomics, and through them, invented technologies like the Personal Genome Machine, the smallest and most affordable genome reader to ever hit the market.

By Sydni Dunn