CHICAGO, IL - November 20, 2000
Integrated Genomics, Inc. announced today that its CEO, Michael Fonstein, PhD, is the winner of a coveted KPMG Illinois High Tech Award. Fonstein was recognized for his significant contributions to the advancement of high technology business, having brought innovative products, services, and jobs to Illinois.
In 1998, Dr. Fonstein joined with a team of prominent scientists in biochemistry, microbiology, and computational biology to found Integrated Genomics, Inc. The company started with $450,000 in angel capital and set up operation in the Chicago Tech Park. Integrated Genomics was initially based on Dr. Fonstein's eight years of research in the laboratory of Professor Robert Haselkorn at the University of Chicago, where he established a DNA sequencing facility and organized a bacterial genome sequencing project long before such projects were popular. Realizing the need for computer tools that would be essential for genome analysis, Fonstein engaged Ross Overbeek and Evgeni Selkov, the fathers of comparative genomics and metabolic reconstruction, in his genome project at the University of Chicago. Then working at Argonne National Laboratory, Overbeek and Selkov joined Fonstein, Haselkorn, Veronika Vonstein and Yuri Nikolsky to create Integrated Genomics.
Previously, Fonstein helped to found, in 1989, the first Russian biotechnology company, Diagnosticum. Currently, Diagnosticum is one of the largest wholesalers of bio-medical equipment, research chemicals, and biologicals in Russia. Fonstein received his M.S. in Biology from Lomonosov Moscow University and his Ph.D. in Genetics from VNII Genetika (Moscow, Russia).
The remarkable success of Integrated Genomics, Inc. is largely due to the leadership of Fonstein, whose efforts have led to a thriving company with more than 85 employees in its three years of operation. His ultimate goal is for the company to create genomics and bioinformatics technology that will lead to a better understanding of cellular life. This encompasses the continued identification of genes, a detailed understanding of their functions, and the placement of the reactions into a schematic model of the complex network of the cell's metabolism.
"I'm delighted that Michael won this entrepreneurship award," said Robert Haselkorn, the company's President. "I can think of few who are as deserving to be recognized for their accomplishments and contributions."
About Integrated Genomics
Integrated Genomics, Inc., based in Chicago, Illinois, offers a systematic approach to solving genomic problems by using pioneering methods of high-throughput sequencing, comparative analysis of genomes, functional reconstruction, and metabolic modeling. IG's analytical suite ERGO™ holds a database of over 270 genomes and the largest biochemical database on the market. The company is particularly strong in bacterial and fungal genomics and offers services for genome analysis and functional reconstruction with an aim to address issues such as strain and fermentation improvement, crop protection, and drug discovery.