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Jonas Korlach Honored by White House as an Immigrant ‘Champion of Change’

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Last week the White House held an event to honor eleven Immigrant Innovator “Champions of Change” — the best and brightest from around the world who are helping create American jobs, grow our economy, and make our nation more competitive.

We are very proud that Jonas Korlach, our Chief Scientific Officer, was one of the honorees, recognized for his role in co-inventing (with Steve Turner) Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing, the technology upon which Pacific Biosciences was founded.

“Immigrants have long made America more prosperous and innovative, and the Champions we are celebrating today represent the very best in leadership, entrepreneurship, and public service,” said US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park.  “We are proud to recognize these leaders who work every day to grow our economy, advance science and technology, and support their home communities.”

Dr. Korlach emigrated to the US from Germany as a graduate student to pursue his dreams to innovate methods in molecular biology and genetic research. “The United States is seen around the world as a place where big ideas are welcome, and encouraged,” he said. “The nation’s academic institutions and government investment in basic research are esteemed across the globe. Coupled with the enterprising drive found in this country, the US is perhaps the most encouraging environment in the world for inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs.”

As the co-inventor of SMRT technology, Jonas has pursued his dreams in the US, and here in Menlo Park. “I am immensely grateful for the opportunities I have been given in this country, and to be honored as a Champion of Change,” he added.

For more information about President Obama’s Champions of Change program, click here.

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