Distinguished Investigator, The J. Craig Venter Institute
Professor Emeritus of Microbiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Hutchison is Distinguished Investigator at the J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego, California, where he is a member of the Synthetic Biology Group headed by Hamilton Smith. He is also Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Synthetic Genomics, Inc. In 1995 he was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences.
He graduated from Yale University in 1960, with a B.S. degree in Physics. His graduate studies were in the laboratory of Robert L. Sinsheimer at Cal Tech where he finished his Ph.D. in 1968. He was a member of the faculty of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1968 until 2005, where he now holds the title Kenan Professor Emeritus.
He has worked on the molecular genetics of bacteriophage, bacteria, and mammals. In Fred Sanger's lab (1975-6) he helped determine the first complete sequence of a DNA molecule (phiX174). He developed site-directed mutagenesis with Michael Smith (1978). In 1990 he began work with mycoplasmas as models for the minimal cell. This led to collaboration with Smith and Venter, and his current work on synthetic genomics.