Hartford, CT — Jonathan M. Rothberg, PhD, Chairman, CEO and Founder of Guilford-based Ion Torrent, has been named the 2010 winner of the Connecticut Medal of Technology for his development of innovative genomic technology. Dr. Rothberg is the founder of four genomics companies in his home state of Connecticut and has dedicated his life to developing sequencing technology that will help improve the health of people around the world. By focusing his efforts in Connecticut, he has brought jobs, opportunity and innovation to the state.
Frank W. Ridley, chairman of the Board of Governors for Higher Education, will present the award at the annual meeting of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering at the Hartford Marriott Downtown Hotel on May 20th.
In 1991, Rothberg founded New Haven-based CuraGen, one of the first companies to develop drugs based on genomics. In 2004, he founded 454 Life Sciences, based in Branford, which pioneered an entirely new way to sequence genomes. Rothberg founded Ion Torrent in 2007 and is also founder of the Rothberg Center for Childhood diseases and chairman and co-founder of RainDance Technologies, a provider of innovative microdroplet-based solutions that accelerate human health and disease research.
Ion TorrentTM has pioneered an entirely new approach to genetic sequencing that enables a direct connection between chemical and digital information on a semiconductor chip. The result is a sequencing system that is simpler, faster, more cost effective and scalable than any other technology available. The company’s goal is to make this critical technology available to every lab.
The New Haven-born Rothberg earned a BS in chemical engineering with an option in biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an MS, M.Phil, and PhD in biology from Yale University. He was twice named The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer, is an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year and received The Wall Street Journal’s First Gold Medal for Innovation. He has received Nature Methods First Method of the Year Award, and The Irvington Institute’s Corporate Leadership Award in Science. Dr. Rothberg is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, and serves on the board of trustees of Carnegie Mellon University.
The CT Medal is the state’s highest honor for scientists and engineers and recognizes extraordinary achievements in scientific fields crucial to Connecticut’s economic competitiveness and social well-being. Modeled after the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, this award is bestowed by the Board of Governors for Higher Education, with the assistance of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, in alternate years with the Connecticut Medal of Science. Rothberg is the sixth recipient of the CT Medal of Technology.