Steven Salzberg, David Eisenberg and Goncalo Abecasis: 2013 Computational Biology Award Winners

It is award time for computational biology. Two Compbio/Bioinformatics societies have announced the award winners for the year 2013. Unlike the Breakthrough prize, there is no big money involved, but a huge recognition for three researchers for their contributions to Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.

Steven Salzberg Wins Benjamin Franklin Award for Open Access in Life Sciences

Bioinformatics.Org announced that Steven Salzberg of Johns Hopkins University is the winner of Benjamin Franklin Award for Open Access in the Life Sciences. The members of the Bioinformatics.Org society selected Steven Salzberg as the winner from a list of five award finalists including. Hilmar Lapp, Aaron Quinlan, Alan Ruttenberg, Steven Salzberg, and Owen White.   The Benjamin Franklin award will be presented at the BioIT World conference in April in Boston MA. Earlier winners of Benjamin Franklin award includes Jonathen Eisen, Micheal Eisen, Robert Gentleman, Ewan Birney and Heng Li.  Here is the description of Steven Salzberg’s contributions by the award nominees.

Steven Salzberg has made many contributions to open access bioinformatics software, beginning with the pioneering system for bacterial gene finding, Glimmer (, and the MUMmer ( whole-genome alignment package. His group has built a suite of next-generation sequencing tools including Bowtie ([link]), TopHat (, and Cufflinks (, which have been adopted by thousands of scientists around the world, and have collectively been downloaded over 200,000 times. Steven has developed open source software for genome assembly as well, launching the AMOS project ([link]) that includes many assemblers and assembly utilities. He has publicly advocated for greater sharing of data, and was the co-founder of the Influenza Genome Project, which sequenced thousands of strains of the influenza virus. Steven has also advocated forcefully against both software and gene patents, publishing many commentaries in high-profile journals and on his genomics ( and Forbes ( blog sites.

David Eisenberg and Goncalo Abecasis: ISCB Award Winners

Last week, The international Society of Computational Biology announced that David Eisenberg, UCLA and Goncalo Abecasis, Univ. Michigan are the winners of Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award and Overton Prize Awards.  The ISCB Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award is presented annually to a researcher who has made “major contributions to the field of computational biology through research, education, and service”.

And the Overton prize is awarded annually to an emerging scientist, for his accomplishment in computational biology. The awards will be presented at this year’s ISMB/ECCB 2013 conference in Berlin, Germany, July 19-23, 2013.  Eisenberg and Abecasis will present their work as keynote talks at the conference.

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