2004 Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award Winner, Dr. David Lipman
International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) has named
the second winner of its annual Senior Scientist Accomplishment
Award, Dr. David Lipman, director of the National Center for Biotechnology
"Over the course of his distinguished career, Dr. Lipman contributed
to several of the most important tools used in the analysis of gene
sequence data, and managed the growth of many of the most essential
public scientific databases. His vision and leadership of the NIH's
National Center for Biotechnology Information has not only altered
the course of computational biology, but of science as a whole,"
said Larry Hunter of the University of Colorado Health Sciences
Center, chair of the ISCB award committee.
The Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award recognizes members of
the computational biology community who are more than 12 to 15 years
post-degree and have made major contributions to the field of computational
biology through research, education, service, or a combination of
The prize will be awarded at the ISCB's annual meeting, Intelligent
Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) to be held in conjunction with
the European Conference on Computational Biology (ECCB), in Glasgow,
Scotland, from July 31 to August 4. Dr. Lipman will deliver the
annual Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award keynote lecture at
14:00 on August 4 at ISMB/ECCB.
Dr. Lipmans first research efforts in computational biology
began after his medical training at the State University of New
York at Buffalo. Subsequently, he joined the Mathematical Research
Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney
Diseases as a Research Fellow. In his research on computational
methods, he developed widely used tools for searching biological
Dr. Lipmans search method papers have been cited nearly 40,000
times and are considered landmarks that have served as the basis
for the discovery of biological functions for unknown sequences,
furthering the understanding of the molecular basis of human disease.
Among his scientific contributions are some of the canonical software
of computational biology. This includes the Wilbur-Lipman algorithm,
written in 1983 and considered to be the first "rapid search
tool" for molecular biology databases and which was used for
the PDGF/v-sis homology; FASTP, a biological sequence comparison
program for searching protein and DNA, written in 1985 with William
Pearson; FASTA also written with Pearson in 1988; BLAST, written
with several colleagues in 1990; and BLAST2 and PSIBLAST, written
with several colleagues in 1997.
Since 1989, Dr. Lipman has been the Director of the NCBI, a leading
research center in computational biology, the creators of PubMed,
one of the most heavily used sites in the world for the search and
retrieval of biomedical information. He still remains active in
research, most recently publishing a paper comparing mRNAs in eukaryotes
in Nucleic Acids Research. He has received numerous awards in his
career, including three Public Health Service Outstanding Service
Medals and the National Institutes of Health Directors Award.
He is also a member of a number of prestigious associations including
the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) was established
in 1988 as a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM),
based at the United States National Institutes of Health.
NCBI creates automated systems for storing and analyzing knowledge
about molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics; facilitates
the use of such databases and software by the research community;
coordinates efforts to gather biotechnology information; and performs
research into advanced methods of computer based information processing
for analyzing the structure and function of biologically important