Berkeley Lab Research News


Michael Palazzolo Named Director of Lab's Human Genome Center

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By Ron Kolb,

June 7, 1996

BERKELEY, CA -- Michael J. Palazzolo, who has been a staff scientist in the human genome program since 1991, has been appointed director of the Human Genome Center at Berkeley Lab.

In making the announcement, Laboratory Director Charles Shank said Palazzolo "brings unique talents to this demanding role. Since coming to the Laboratory, he has developed and adapted new technologies to direct sequencing of DNA on a massive scale. His innovations have been key to placing the Berkeley Genome Center at the cutting edge of genomic sciences worldwide."

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Columbia University, Palazzolo earned his B.A. in biochemistry, and M.D./Ph.D in Medicine/Physiology. He conducted his doctoral research with the James H. Schwartz Center for Neurobiology and Behavior and the Richard Axel Institute for Cancer Research, both at Columbia.

From 1985 to 1990, he did postdoctoral research at Caltech, and in 1990-91 was a research assistant professor with the Department of Genetics at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Palazzolo cited two things that mark the strength of the Genome Center--"the group leaders themselves, with their talents and abilities to work together, and the others at the center who make the work happen. Those are the things that got us here, and I'm confident that they'll serve us well in scaling up in the future."

He said he looks forward to leading the Center through its next phases, including final sequencing of the genome and post-genomics work.

Palazzolo succeeds Mohan Narla, who has served as acting director since January 1994. Narla will assume leadership of a new department in Life Sciences that will combine studies of membrane proteins with innovative microscopics.

Shank credited Narla with reorganizing the Center's programs to feature high throughput genomic DNA sequencing, and with encouraging successful collaborations such as that between the Drosophila Genome Center and the Berkeley campus.