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ISCB News and Announcements

The ISCB Fellows program is a prestigious recognition within the field of computational biology, honoring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the discipline. These distinguished scientists and professionals have demonstrated exceptional leadership, research, and service, advancing the frontiers of computational biology and bioinformatics. Induction as an ISCB Fellow signifies a career of significant impact and a commitment to advancing the field.

ISCB congratulates the 2024 Class of Fellows!
Teresa Attwood, Emeritus Professor, Computer Science, University of Manchester

Teresa Attwood stands as a luminary in the realm of bioinformatics education, carving her legacy through unwavering commitment and innovative initiatives. Recognizing the pivotal role of education in propelling scientific advancement, Attwood embarked on a mission to democratize bioinformatics knowledge. Attwood's impact transcends mere publications. As a member of the ISCB Education Committee and later as an esteemed Board Member, she championed transformative educational strategies.
Niko Beerenwinkel, Professor, Computational Biology, Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering ETH Zurich; Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

Niko Beerenwinkel has made groundbreaking contributions to cancer research and viral genomics. His innovative methods in cancer phylogenetics unveil deep insights into tumor dynamics, progression, and heterogeneity. In viral genomics, his development of ShoRAH and COJAC demonstrates excellence in quantifying genetic diversity and monitoring SARS-CoV-2 variants. Beerenwinkel's impactful work in integrating multi-omics data, exemplified by NetICS, enhances our understanding of cancer molecular mechanisms. His rigorous methods address complex biological problems, contributing significantly to medical and public health.
Doron Lancet, Dept. Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science

Doron Lancet made outstanding contributions to genomics and computational biology. Notably, in 1993, he developed a molecular recognition model for olfaction and immunity, forming the basis for his novel quantitative model for life's origin. Lancet's creation of GeneCards in 1996, a comprehensive human gene compendium, has since evolved into the GeneCards Suite, serving 5 million users worldwide. Lancet's pioneering work in olfaction, genomics, and the GeneCards project exemplifies his significant impact on computational biology.
Barbara Engelhardt, Senior Investigator, Gladstone Institutes; Professor (Research) of Biomedical Data Science, Department of Biomedical Data Science Stanford University

Barbara Engelhardt is globally acclaimed for advancing hierarchical Bayesian statistical and machine learning models for dimension reduction in biomedical data. Recognized with the 2020 Overton Prize, her impactful contributions span experimental design, exploratory data analysis, and predictive modeling in genomics, imaging, and hospital data. Engelhardt's emphasis on interpretable, robust, and computationally efficient methods has led to crucial discoveries in genetics, genomics, and epidemiology. As a leader and mentor, she promotes diversity and inclusion, making her an exemplary choice for ISCB Fellow.
Tao Jiang, Distinguished Professor, Computer Science & Engineering Dept, University of California Riverside

Tao Jiang is a pioneering figure in computational biology and bioinformatics, contributing significantly to algorithmic research. His seminal work spans multiple areas, including multiple sequence alignment, DNA fragment assembly, RNA secondary structure comparison, phylogenetic tree reconstruction, haplotype inference, ortholog assignment, and isoform quantification. His efficient combinatorial algorithms, recognized for their impact and citation frequency, have helped shape the field. 
Carl Kingsford, Herbert A. Simon Professor of Computer Science, Ray and Stephanie Lane Computational Biology Department, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Carl Kingsford is a trailblazer in computational molecular biology, showcasing sustained innovation in scalable algorithmic approaches. His foundational contributions include transformative methods for gene expression quantification, k-mer-based computational methodologies, and efficient algorithms for searching unassembled sequence data. Notably, his software, Salmon and Jellyfish, are widely used in the field, with Salmon widely downloaded. Kingsford's theoretical understanding of algorithmic challenges and leadership in conferences further solidify his impactful role in shaping computational biology.
Eugene V Koonin, Evolutionary Genomics Group Leader, National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Eugene Koonin is a distinguished figure in bioinformatics, comparative genomics, and evolutionary biology, with significant contributions recognized globally. Transitioning from experimental biology to bioinformatics, he contributed to viral genome analysis, leading to deep evolutionary insights. His work on COGs and genome evolution models advanced functional annotation and understanding of microbial evolution and cellular life origins. Koonin's research also encompasses metagenomics, antivirus defense systems, in particular, CRISPR, cancer evolution, and general theory of evolution.
Philippe Lemey, Professor, Rega Institute, KU Leuven

Philippe Lemey, a leader in computational phylogenetics, has made outstanding contributions to understanding viral evolution and epidemiology. Renowned for his work in Bayesian statistics, he pioneered phylogeographic reconstruction in the widely used BEAST software, receiving the prestigious Mitchell Prize. Lemey's models, extended for pathogens like influenza and SARS-CoV-2, underpin diverse comparative analyses. Notably, he quantified measles' ancient origin and assessed intervention impact. In SARS-CoV-2 research, he reconstructed viral spread and contributed to origin studies, advising the WHO. Lemey's multidisciplinary collaborations emphasize innovative methods, making him a global asset in pathogen spread understanding.
Scott Markel, BIOVIA R&D Software Engineering Director, Biosciences & Scientific Informatics, Dassault Systèmes

Scott Markel's decade-long leadership within ISCB has been invaluable, notably as Secretary for 10 years. His governance expertise and commitment, evident in roles across committees like Nominations and Finance, have steered ISCB's strategic direction. Markel's contributions extend beyond official duties, supporting initiatives, mentoring, and advocating for computational biology's advancement. His outstanding service enriched ISCB's mission.
Peter Park, Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Director, Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics (BIG) PhD Track, Harvard Medical School
Peter Park is recognized for his seminal contributions in human genome and epigenome analysis. He led pioneering studies of structural alteration in cancer genomes, unveiling the landscape of somatic retrotransposition, microsatellite instability, chromothripsis, and other complex rearrangements. His work had clinical applications, such as a method for detecting homologous recombination deficiency to guide PARP inhibitor use in cancer patients. Dr. Park also explored mutational processes in the brain, utilizing single-cell whole-genome sequencing to study neuronal mutations and early human development. As a mentor, he shaped future leaders as the director of the Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics Ph.D. program at Harvard Medical School for more than a decade.
Natasa Przulj, Leading Researcher, Life Sciences - ICREA Research Professor, Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Nataša Pržulj is a leader in biological network analysis, pioneering network biology geometry. She introduced graphlets to extract biomedical knowledge from omics networks, revolutionizing the field. Her recent research focus is artificial intelligence algorithms for multi-omics data fusion to improve precision medicine. Prof. Pržulj's scientific excellence is evident in her numerous awards, including election to ELLIS and Academia Europaea. She has provided exceptional service to ISCB, chairing ISMB's Systems Biology and Networks Area, NetBio COSI and contributing to editorial boards, advisory boards, and teaching, showcasing her commitment to advancing bioinformatics.
Torsten Schwede, Professor, Structural Bioinformatics, Biozentrum, Vice President for Research, University of Basel; Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

Torsten Schwede has made substantial contributions to computational biology through SWISS-MODEL, the first automated protein homology-modeling server, advancing our understanding of protein structure and fostering the use of computational models in life science research. Schwede's commitment to benchmarking and model quality assessment, with QMEAN and CAMEO, contributed to measuring progress in protein structure prediction. These developments formed groundwork for transformative technologies such as AlphaFold.
Michael J E Sternberg, Director Centre for Integrative Systems Biology and Bioinformatics (CISBIO), Imperial College London

Michael Sternberg, a structural bioinformatics pioneer since the 1970s, has made foundational contributions to understanding protein structure and function. His analyses of protein structures uncovered key principles, and he developed widely used resources like the Phyre web server, software for protein docking, and 3D-LigandSite for ligand binding prediction. These user-friendly tools have been crucial for researchers worldwide. His recent work on predicting the impact of missense variants vis the Missense3D portal and several collaborations, including COVID-19-related studies, showcase his ongoing impact in bioinformatics.
Fengzhu Sun, Professor, Quantitative and Computational Biology and Mathematics, University of Southern California

Fengzhu Sun is recognized for foundational contributions in computational biology, notably in protein-protein interaction network analysis, alignment-free sequence analysis, and metagenomic data analysis. A pioneer, Sun developed a probabilistically grounded model for predicting protein functional labels and introduced diffusion kernels for protein-protein interaction networks. His work, ahead of its time, laid the foundation for current diffusion-based methods. His contributions extend to error correction in PCR, statistical tools for metagenomics, and revolutionary alignment-free sequence analysis with applications in virus identification. His expertise, mathematical insights, and method development make him a standout in computational biology.
Mihaela Zavolan, Head of Research Group, Professor in Computational Biology/Genomics, Biozentrum, University of Basel; Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics
Mihaela Zavolan pioneered computational research into miRNAs, revealing their broad expression, and quantitatively prediction their interactions with target mRNAs. With a medical degree and a Ph.D. in Computer Science, her interdisciplinary background uniquely contributes to advancing computational biology. Her work includes algorithm development for miRNA gene and target prediction, innovations in CLIP methods for mapping RNA-protein interactions, as well as methods for unveiling the functions of RNA isoforms resulting from alternative polyadenylation.  Zavolan's dedication to advancing both methodology and biological insights makes her a significant figure in the computational biology community.
ISCB will be honoring the 2024 Class of Fellows during the ISMB 2024 conference.

Congratulations, 2024 Class of ISCB Fellows!