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ISCB Announces 2017 Award Recipients

Christoph Bock, Fran Lewitter, Pavel Pevzner, and Aviv Regev Named 2017 ISCB Award Winners


The International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award, Overton Prize, Innovator Award, and Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award. Pavel Pevzner, Ronald R. Taylor Professor of Computer Science, University of San Diego; Director, NIH Center for Computational Mass Spectrometry; and HHMI Investigator, is the winner of the Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award. Christoph Bock, Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (CeMM), is the Overton Prize winner. Aviv Regev, Professor of Biology, MIT; core member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; and HHMI Investigator, is the winner of the ISCB Innovator Award. Fran Lewitter, Founding Director, Retired, Bioinformatics and Research Computing Department, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, has been selected as the winner of the Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award.


Pavel Pevzner Recipient of ISCB Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist AwardPavel Pevzner
Recipient of ISCB Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award

The ISCB Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award recognizes leaders in the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics for their significant research, education, and service contributions. Pavel Pevzner is being honored as the 2017 winner of the Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award.

Pavel A. Pevzner is the Ronald R. Taylor Professor of Computer Science and Director of the NIH Center for Computational Mass Spectrometry at University of California, San Diego where he is an HHMI Institute Professor. Renewing his Russian origins, he founded the Center for Algorithmic Biotechnology at Saint Petersburg State University and serves as a member of the advisory board for SkolTech in Moscow. There are few sub-fields in Bioinformatics where Pevzner has not made a seminal contribution. His work is guided by applying combinatorial and algorithmic ideas to solving problems in bioinformatics, most notably in genome rearrangements, fragment assembly, and algorithmic mass spectrometry. His algorithmic ideas have been incorporated into many of the tools in the field. Not only is he a world leader in algorithmic genomics and proteomics, he has also pioneered the reverse classroom in bioinformatics education through his textbook and efforts at UCSD, HHMI and RECOMB-BE. Pevzner is a founding member of RECOMB, has served on the ISCB board of directors, and serves on several editorial boards.

Pevzner received his Ph.D. in Mathematics and Physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. He joined Michael Waterman's laboratory in 1990 at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Southern California for two years as a postdoctoral research associate. In 1992, Pevzner took a position of an Associate Professor at Pennsylvania State University. In 1995, he moved back to the University of Southern California as a Professor of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Molecular Biology. In 2000, he moved to UCSD.


Christoph Bock, Recipient of the ISCB Overton PrizeChristoph Bock
Recipient of the ISCB Overton Prize


The Overton Prize recognizes the research, education, and service accomplishments of early to mid-career scientists who are emerging leaders in computational biology and bioinformatics. The Overton Prize was instituted in 2001 to honor the untimely loss of G. Christian Overton, a leading bioinformatics researcher and a founding member of the ISCB Board of Directors. Christoph Bock is being recognized as the 2017 winner of the Overton Prize.

Christoph Bock is a CeMM Principal Investigator, visiting Professor at the Medical University of Vienna, and Coordinator of the Biomedical Sequencing Facility. He is recognized for being a rising star in epigenetic data analysis.

Bock completed his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken (Germany), and was a postdoctoral fellow with Alexander Meissner at the Broad Institute and the Harvard Department for Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. He joined CeMM as a principal investigator in 2012, and he coordinates the next generation sequencing activities of CeMM and the Medical University of Vienna.


Aviv Regev Recipient of ISCB Innovator AwardAviv Regev
Recipient of ISCB Innovator Award


2016 marked the launch of the ISCB Innovator Award, which is given to a leading scientist who is within two decades of receiving her or his PhD degree, has consistently made outstanding contributions to the field and continues to forge new directions. Aviv Regev is the 2017 winner of the ISCB Innovator Award.

Aviv Regev, a computational and systems biologist, is a professor of biology at MIT, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and the Chair of the Faculty and the Director of the Klarman Cell Observatory and Cell Circuits Program at the Broad Institute. She studies the molecular circuitry that governs the function of mammalian cells in health and disease and has pioneered many leading experimental and computational methods for the reconstruction of circuits, including in single-cell genomics.

Regev received her M.Sc. from Tel Aviv University, studying biology, computer science, and mathematics in the Interdisciplinary Program for the Fostering of Excellence. In 2002, she received her Ph.D. in computational biology from Tel Aviv University.


Fran Lewitter, Recipient of ISCB Outstanding Contributions AwardFran Lewitter
Recipient of ISCB Outstanding Contributions Award

The Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award recognizes an ISCB member for her or his outstanding service contributions toward the betterment of ISCB through exemplary leadership, education, and service.

This award debuted in 2015, and the 2017 winner is Fran Lewitter.

Fran Lewitter, Founding Director, Retired, Bioinformatics and Research Computing Department, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, has championed bioinformatics education on behalf of ISCB through many years of service. As a member of the ISCB board of directors, she has advocated for the inclusion and consideration of bioinformatics educational activities in conference programming, community activities, in written publications and created dedicated webpages for educational resources. Her tireless efforts to grow the field of bioinformatics and computational biology through education has greatly benefited ISCB and the field at large.
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ISCB will present the Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award, Overton Prize, Innovator Award and Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award, at ISMB/ECCB 2017 (www.iscb.org/ismbeccb2017), which is being held in Prague, Czech Republic on July 22-25, 2017. Pevzner, Bock, and Regev will also present keynote addresses during the conference.

Full bibliographical articles profiling the award recipients will be available in the ISMB/ECCB 2017 focus issue of the ISCB newsletter later this year, as well as the ISCB Society Pages in PLOS Computational Biology, OUP Bioinformatics, and ISCB Community Journal.