Justin O'Sullivan, Ph.D., received the 2010 Life Technologies Life Science Award this month for developing the first three-dimensional map and model of a genome.

O'Sullivan used the SOLiD™ 3 system to analyze more than 800 million DNA sequence bases, and is the first to create a 3D model that details the organization of the eukaryotic genome.The results could provide insights into the genetic triggers for cancer and some developmental diseases.

In 2008, O’Sullivan was also the recipient of the $10k Genome Grant Program through Applied Biosystems. As a part of the program, he gained access to the SOLiD 3 technology that helped make this breakthrough possible.

"It was very flattering to get this award, which is the result of hard work by the group of scientists here," said O'Sullivan. "It's cool to have our work recognized by our peers – it's quite an affirmation."

Life Technologies and the Queenstown Molecular Biology Meeting developed the award to recognize the high caliber of molecular biology research being practiced in New Zealand. The NZ$3000 award has been presented since 2002, and goes to a scientist who has demonstrated research excellence using molecular biology. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Queenstown Molecular Biology Meeting, where the award was presented. You can view previous award winners online.