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UNH Scientist Named Hamel Professor

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau

November 1, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- William Gilbert, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, has been named Hamel Professor of Innovation and Technology at the University of New Hampshire's College of Life Sciences and Agriculture.

Gilbert has been on the UNH faculty since 1992 and is an expert in the area of bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field focused on organizing the data that arises from research in genomics and biotechnology, and making it available in a format useful to scientists. Gilbert will assist the university's new Hubbard Center for Genome Studies in this area.

"Will Gilbert is highly regarded in his field of biotechnology," says Andrew Rosenberg, dean of UNH's College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. "He works extensively with industry and brings the perspective of carrying research ideas through to products in our work in genomics. We look forward to Will working with other UNH faculty and our students to develop a solid bioinformatics program in the college."

Dana and Kathryn Hamel established the professorship through a $7 million gift to the university last year. The gift funded the establishment of the Hamel Center for the Management of Technology and Innovation, located in UNH's Whittemore School of Business and Economics, as well as three professorships -- one each in the Whittemore School, the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

By bringing together business, engineering and biotechnology know-how, the Hamel Center's goal is to ensure that business leaders and scientists are prepared to capitalize on developing technologies and deliver them successfully to market.

Gilbert has extensive experience working with industry. He consulted with several biotechnology startup companies such as the successful Millenium Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, Mass., and Human Genome Sciences in Rockville, Md. He was also former director of the Whitehead Institute at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, which later became the core center for the sequencing of the human genome project.

Honored to be named the Hamel Professor, Gilbert says, "It is a good fit with my background in both biotechnology and informatics. It will give me a platform from which to preach the virtues of bringing more biomanufacturing into New Hampshire and, with it, more high tech and high paying jobs for the state's citizens and graduates."

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