Recommended by: David Schwartz, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Translating raw sequencing reads into practical knowledge is a driving force behind Jian Ma's research. A computer scientist by training, Ma first became interested in computational biology shortly after the draft human genome was published.

"Sequencing the genome [was] just the first step. The challenge now is to understand it. And we're not there yet," Ma says. Going forward, he adds, "I think an information-based approach will play a big role. That's why I decided to get a PhD in it."

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