Clyde A. Hutchison, III, PhD

Distinguished Professor


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Clyde Hutchison, III, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor at the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, California, where he is a member of the Synthetic Biology Group. He is also a consultant for Synthetic Genomics, Inc. In 1995 he was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. He graduated from Yale University in 1960, with a BS in Physics. His graduate studies were in the laboratory of Robert L. Sinsheimer at Cal Tech where he finished his PhD in 1968. He was a member of the faculty of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1968 until 2005, where he now holds the title Kenan Professor Emeritus. He has worked on the molecular genetics of bacteriophage, bacteria, and mammals. In Fred Sanger's lab (1975-6) he helped determine the first complete sequence of a DNA molecule (phiX174). He developed site-directed mutagenesis with Michael Smith (1978). In 1990 he began work with mycoplasmas as models for the minimal cell. This led to collaboration with Smith and Venter, and his current work on synthetic genomics.

Research Priorities

Understanding the minimal requirements for life

  • Determining functions of all genes in the minimal cell, JCVI-syn3.0.

Developing methods for genome design

  • Extending the design of minimized genomes to simple eukaryotes.

Modeling the minimal cell

  • Collaborating with other labs to build a predictive computer model of JCVI-syn3.0.

Select Publications

Minimal Cells-Real and Imagined.
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology. 2017-12-01; 9.12:
PMID: 28348033
Complete chemical synthesis, assembly, and cloning of a Mycoplasma genitalium genome.
Science (New York, N.Y.). 2008-02-29; 319.5867: 1215-20.
PMID: 18218864
Genome transplantation in bacteria: changing one species to another.
Science (New York, N.Y.). 2007-08-03; 317.5838: 632-8.
PMID: 17600181
DNA sequencing: bench to bedside and beyond.
Nucleic acids research. 2007-01-01; 35.Database issue: 6227-37.
PMID: 17855400
Cell-free cloning using phi29 DNA polymerase.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2005-11-29; 102.48: 17332-6.
PMID: 16286637
Generating a synthetic genome by whole genome assembly: phiX174 bacteriophage from synthetic oligonucleotides.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2003-12-23; 100.26: 15440-5.
PMID: 14657399
Global transposon mutagenesis and a minimal Mycoplasma genome.
Science (New York, N.Y.). 1999-12-10; 286.5447: 2165-9.
PMID: 10591650
A survey of the Mycoplasma genitalium genome by using random sequencing.
Journal of bacteriology. 1993-12-01; 175.24: 7918-30.
PMID: 8253680
The sequence of a large L1Md element reveals a tandemly repeated 5' end and several features found in retrotransposons.
Molecular and cellular biology. 1986-01-01; 6.1: 168-82.
PMID: 3023821
Mutagenesis at a specific position in a DNA sequence.
The Journal of biological chemistry. 1978-09-25; 253.18: 6551-60.
PMID: 681366
Overlapping genes in bacteriophage phiX174.
Nature. 1976-11-04; 264.5581: 34-41.
PMID: 1004533
Maternal inheritance of mammalian mitochondrial DNA.
Nature. 1974-10-11; 251.5475: 536-8.
PMID: 4423884