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ISCB Confers ISCB Fellows Distinction to Mikhail Gelfand

The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) bestows one of its highest scientific honors, ISCB Fellow, to Mikhail Gelfand, Ph.D., for his pioneering contributions to bioinformatics research on an international scale, most recently in the area of comparative genomics. 

Bioinformatics and computational biology involve computational analyses of large complex biological data sets e.g. genomes. These analyses play a crucial role in modern-day biology and medicine.
Dr. Gelfand is a Professor at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia and Laboratory Head at Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Moscow, Russia.  His research specializes in comparative genomics, systems biology, molecular evolution, transcriptomics, and metagenomics.  Dr. Gelfand is a leading pioneer in bioinformatics and computational biology.  His work on gene recognition in eukaryotic genomes, integrating the nucleotide frequency statistics of splicing site and coding/non-coding regions (Gelfand, NAR 1990), led to the first spliced alignment algorithm for gene prediction (Gelfand et al., PNAS 1996) and to predicting an unexpectedly high frequency of the alternative splicing in human genes (Mironov et al., Genome Res. 1999). Gelfand was the first to predict the existence of riboswitches, regulatory RNA structures that change conformation after binding by small molecules (Gelfand et al., Trends Genet. 1999). He also demonstrated that a bacterial ribosome may act as a zinc depot (Panina et al., PNAS 2003) and how TFs find their binding sites in the cell (Kolesov et al, PNAS 2007). Recently, he worked on analysis of genome rearrangements (Moldovan & Gelfand, Front. Microbiol. 2019) and showed that younger pathogens have an increased level of genome rearrangements (Bochkareva et al., PeerJ 2018).
Dr. Gelfand’s impact on the field goes beyond research.  He has made fundamental contributions to bioinformatics education in Russia. In 2002, he co-founded the Bioinformatics and Bioengineering Department at the Moscow State University (MSU) – arguably, the first bioinformatics department in the world. As a professor at MSU, he trained a group of Russian bioinformaticians who are now leading bioinformatics research in Russia and beyond. In 2003, Gelfand founded the biennial International Moscow Conference of Computational Molecular Biology, the main bioinformatics conference in Russia which he has been continuously chairing since its inception. Also, each year, he teaches high school students at the Summer School of Molecular and Theoretical Biology. 
Without argument, Dr. Mikhail Gelfand embodies the principles of the ISCB Fellow designation, demonstrating excellence in computational biology research and service to the computational biology community.  He is the first member of the Class of 2022 to receive this honor.  
About the ISCB Fellows Program:
ISCB introduced the ISCB Fellows Program in 2009 to honor members that have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics. During the inaugural year of the program, ISCB conferred the Fellow status on the seven winners-to-date of the ISCB Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award, and recognized these distinguished scientists during the ISMB/ECCB 2009 conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Since then, ISCB has sought nominations from its community of members, which are reviewed and voted upon by a selection committee. New Fellows are introduced at each year's ISMB conference.      
About ISCB:
Since its founding in 1997, the International Society for Computational Biology, Inc. (ISCB) has emerged as the leading professional society for participants in the field of computational biology and bioinformatics. Society membership reflects commitment toward the advancement of computational biology. The ISCB is an international non-profit organization whose members come from the global bioinformatics and computational biology communities. The ISCB serves its global membership by providing high-quality meetings, publications, and reports on methods and tools; by disseminating key information about bioinformatics resources and relevant news from related fields; and by actively facilitating training, education, employment, career development, and networking. We advocate and provide leadership for resources and policies in support of scientific endeavors and to benefit society at large.