Charles DeLisi awarded Citizen’s Award from President Clinton


Internationally regarded as the father of the Human Genome Project, DeLisi conceived of a project to sequence the human genome, which eventually led to the current revolution in genetic knowledge. DeLisi initiated the Human Genome Project while serving as director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Health and Environmental Research Programs.

Here’s what President Clinton said when he awarded the Medal to Charles DeLisi:

“Just as Lewis and Clark set forth to explore a continent shrouded in mysterious possibility, Charles DeLisi pioneered the exploration of a modern day frontier, the human genome.

As an administrator and researcher in the Department of Energy in the mid-1980’s, he worked in close partnership with Senator Pete Domenici along with others who supported his efforts to marshal federal resources and secure funding for this groundbreaking research.

Charles DeLisi’s imagination and determination helped to ignite the revolution in sequencing that would ultimately unravel the code of human life itself. Thanks to Charles DeLisi’s vision and leadership, in the year 2000 we announced the complete sequencing of the human genome. And researchers are now closer than ever to finding therapies and cures for ailments once thought untreatable.

At once scientist, entrepreneur and teacher, Charles DeLisi is also, in the truest sense, a humanitarian, a man whose life work has been life itself. We honor you today, sir, along with the members of the United States Congress, including your friend Senator Domenici, who had the vision to support you when you began, before we could see this great turn in the road. Thank you.”