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Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award

Peer Bork, PhD Director, EMBL Heidelberg (Scientific Activities), Germany- Recipient of ISCB Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award
2021 ISCB Accomplishments
by a Senior Scientist Award:
Peer Bork, PhD

2021 ISCB Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award: Peer Bork, PhD

Peer Bork, PhD, Director, EMBL Heidelberg (Scientific Activities), Germany

The Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award recognizes a member of the computational biology community who is more than two decades post-degree and has made major contributions to the field of computational biology. Peer Bork is being honored as the 2021 recipient of this award.­­

Peer Bork has been at EMBL since 1991, head of Units since 2001; the current strategic head of Bioinformatics at EMBL Heidelberg since 2011 and an ERC Advanced Investigator. Bork received his PhD in biochemistry in 1990 and his habilitation in theoretical biophysics in 1995.

His group, the Bork group, focus on gaining insights into the functioning of biological systems and their evolution by comparative analysis and integration of complex molecular data. Together with other groups at EMBL, they hope to establish interaction maps between chemical compounds and microbes, individually and in communities using advanced multi-omics approaches, with application for human (e.g. individualized diet) or planetary health (e.g. pesticide response biomarkers).

Peer Bork has made tremendous contributions to bioinformatics on a plethora of fronts within the field. This includes his early work on protein domains (leading to the SMART database), genome analysis of higher eukaryotes (leading to authorships on the human, mouse, and rat genome papers), work on one of the most used methods for analysis of mutation data (PolyPhen), large-scale phylogeny (leading to iToL), inventing several of the method for inferring gene/protein networks (leading to the STRING database), analysis of drugs and adverse reactions (leading to STITCH and SIDER) and most recently pioneering microbiome research.

In addition to the research as evidenced in his impressive list of over 590 publications, he has had immense impact also as a mentor. The majority of his many postdocs over the years have moved on to become successful group leaders themselves.


ISCB will present the Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award, Overton Prize, Innovator Award and Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award, at ISMB/ECCB 2021 (https://www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2021), which will take place in virtually, July 26-30, 2021.

Full bibliographical articles profiling the award recipients will be available in the ISMB/ECCB 2021 focus issue of the ISCB newsletter later this year, as well as the ISCB Society Pages in OUP Bioinformatics, and F1000 Research ISCB Community Journal.


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