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Visiting Professor Waterman Awarded Prestigious Dan David Prize
Published:2015-02-17 Hits:1022

On February 10, 2015, Visiting Professor Michael Waterman, a member of the Centre for Computational Systems Biology at Fudan University, has been awarded the Dan David Prize.


This prize was inaugurated in 2001 and named after an international businessman and philanthropist. The prize recognizes and encourages innovative and interdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms. It recognizes human achievement in three areas: the past, the present, and the future. Widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of computational biology, Professor Waterman won the prize in the future time dimension category for his seminal contributions to biological sequence analysis.


Visiting Professor Waterman holds many honours; he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and International Society of Computational Biology. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and was recently awarded the Friendship Award by the Chinese Government. He is an elected foreign member of the French Académie des Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Visiting Professor Waterman’s research concentrates on the creation and application of mathematics, statistics and computer science to molecular biology, particularly to DNA, RNA and protein sequence data. He is co-developer of the Smith-Waterman algorithm for sequence comparison and of the Lander-Waterman formula for physical mapping, fundamental algorithms that have been used for the mapping of human sequence information in the human genome project.


Since Visiting Professor Waterman joined the Centre, he has personally instructed young researchers and graduate students, and pushed forward developments in computational biology. In a summer school in 2014, which was organized by the Centre, he gave lessons about bioinformatics. Additionally, he gave a plenary speech in the Pujiang Innovation Forum organized by Fudan University.


Visiting Professor Waterman will be honored along with fellow laureates at an award ceremony at Tel Aviv University on May 17, 2015. He shares the prize in the future time dimension category in the field of bioinformatics with Cyrus Chothia, an emeritus scientist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and David Haussler, a professor of biomolecular engineering and director of the Genomics Institute at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Additionally, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is being honored in the present time category for launching the world’s largest online encyclopedia. Previous recipients of the prize include former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen.


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