David Botstein, a former vice president for science at Genentech Inc., a South San Francisco, Calif., biotechnology company, is the new chairman of the genetics department at Stanford University. He began in the post August 1.

A native of Switzerland, Botstein is internationally recognized for his contributions to the search for the human gene blueprint. He is credited with helping to develop the technique of using restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RLFPs) as genetic markers, thus allowing the identification of mutant gene products responsible for genetic diseases. Over the last 20 years his research has encompassed almost the entire field of genetics, including studies on bacteria and the human genome.

Before joining Genentech, Bot-stein served on the biology faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, first as an associate professor of genetics and later as a full professor. He left MIT in 1988 to work in private industry.

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