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    Nominees for the 2010 Benjamin Franklin Award
    Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Submitter

    This past January, requests for nominations for the 2010 Benjamin Franklin Award in the Life Sciences were sent out to more than 27,000 members of Bioinformatics.Org, and we thank everyone who participated in the process. This will be the ninth presentation of the humanitarian and bioethics award, which is given annually by the members of the Bioinformatics Organization to an individual who has worked to promote open access to the materials and methods used in the life sciences.

    And the nominees are...
    • Alex Bateman, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (www.sanger.ac.uk/rese[...]eman/). Alex has lead the freely available and very useful Pfam (pfam.sanger.ac.uk), Rfam (rfam.sanger.ac.uk) and MEROPS (merops.sanger.ac.uk) databases at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute since moving there in 1997. He was also the Executive Editor for the open-access Database issue of the journal Nucleic Acids Research for many years (nar.oxfordjournals.org/cont[...]x.dtl). Furthermore, Alex helped initiate the RNA Families track at the journal RNA Biology (www.landesbioscience.com/jour[...]logy/), where a Wikipedia article is required for each published RNA family.
    • Don Gilbert, Indiana University, Bloomington (www.bio.indiana.edu/facu[...]bertd). Don has made long and varied contributions to bioinformatics, from his initial establishment of the IUBio archive and Bio-Mirror (www.bio-mirror.net), to the development and release of the widely used program readseq (www-bimas.cit.nih.gov/molbio/readseq/); and from 'loopdloop' to the SeqPup application, to his current work in comprehensive database organization with the Eugenes project (iubio.bio.indiana.edu:8089). Don was one of the first, if not the first, to use the Internet to provide biological information and software tools to the biological community. Forget the web – Don was using gopher and email protocols to provide usable biotools well before http came round.
    • David J. Lipman, NCBI (en.wikipedia.org/wiki[...]ipman). For many years David has been at the forefront of open access for biomedical data of several categories. David is also a driving force behind PubMed Central, a repository of full-text, peer-reviewed articles from life science journals. And much of the power of NCBI's resources derives from David's vision of integrating the resources so that users can seamlessly move, for example, from a genetic sequence to the scientific literature discussing a related gene, to related protein structures, etc. Additionally, David is Editor-in-Chief of the Open Access journal Biology Direct (known for its novel approach to peer review) and a moderator for PLoS Currents: Influenza, a new project developed during the recent H1N1 influenza epidemic that allows scientists to share results and ideas immediately while ensuring that the results will be permanently archived (in PubMed Central) and citable.
    • John Quackenbush, Harvard School of Public Health (www.hsph.harvard.edu/facu[...]bush/). John has a long history of promoting open-source and publicly available software tools in various area of bioinformatics/computational biology, emphasizing and evangelizing several areas that have become pillars of good bioinformatics research: accessibility, reproducibility, scalability, and biological applicability. Particularly in the past few years, John has been starting to apply these in the area of cancer treatment and personalized medicine (e.g. compbio.dfci.harvard.edu/genesigdb/), an area where both transparency and rigorous community analysis will be even more critical in the years to come. John has also been a pioneer in gene expression microarray software development (MeV), providing it free to the public. And he started Center for Cancer Computational Biology (CCCB) to help Greater Boston Area biology labs and clinicians with research and therapeutics (cccb.dfci.harvard.edu).
    • G.P.S. Raghava, Institute of Microbial Technology (en.wikipedia.org/wiki[...]ghava). Dr. Raghava has developed 10 curated databases and more than 100 web services, which serve immunology researchers around the world. He has been at the forefront of bioinformatics in India, where his efforts to make scientific information freely accessible have greatly helped the scientific community there. His group builds upon free and open source software, and all of the resulting resources are free for academic use. For example, his group recently created the Computational Resources for Drug Discovery (CRDD) Web portal at the Open Source Drug Discovery Foundation (crdd.osdd.net).
    The ceremony for the presentation of the award will be held at the 2010 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo in Boston (www.bio-itworldexpo.com). It involves a short introduction, the presentation of the certificate, and the laureate seminar. Ceremony attendance is free with early registration.

    If you're a member of Bioinformatics.Org, you may vote on the Bioinformatics.Org website: www.bioinformatics.org/franklin/vote/2010/.

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