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People in the News: Michael Waterman, Simon Tavaré, Ziv Bar-Joseph, Gunnar von Heijne, and more

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The University of Southern California is hosting a symposium March 30 – April 1 in honor of the 70th birthday of Michael Waterman and the 60th birthday of Simon Tavaré.

Since 1982, Waterman has made numerous significant contributions to the field of computational biology including the Smith-Waterman dynamic programming algorithm for finding sequence homology; the algorithmic approach to RNA structure prediction; statistical methods behind Blast and related biological databases; search tools; statistics of genome sequencing; algorithms for genome assembly including the Eulerian graph method, mathematics of phylogeny, statistical distributions of words and motifs in sequences; and many other mathematical and computational solutions.

Tavaré joined USC in 1989. He has been involved in efforts to develop the interface between mathematical sciences and biological and medical sciences. He has also made significant contributions to methodology for analyzing and interpreting DNA sequences and related genomic data. His contributions to population genetics include probabilistic and statistical aspects of coalescent theory, including the first full likelihood-based methods for the analysis of sequence variation data, and methods for ancestral inference. He has also been involved in efforts to use evolutionary approaches to cancer, and in the use of approximate Bayesian computation for inference in complex stochastic processes.


The International Society for Computational Biology has awarded its annual Overton prize to Ziv Bar-Joseph, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon's school of computer science, and its annual Senior Scientist award to Gunnar von Heijne.

The annual Overton prize is awarded to an early- to mid-career scientist who is judged to have made a significant contribution to the field of computational biology, while the Senior Scientist award recognizes members of the community who are later in their careers and have made major contributions to the field.

Both winners are expected to give keynote addresses at this year's Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology conference, which will be held in July in Long Beach, Calif.

Bar-Joseph has a PhD in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to that, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Bar-Joseph uses machine learning, statistical algorithms and signal processing techniques to integrate multiple biological data sources in ways that infer dynamic regulatory networks. He is also involved in efforts to apply biological solutions to computational problems such as building robust distributed networks.

Von Heijne is the director of the Swedish Stockholm Center for Biomembrane Research and a professor at Stockholm University's biochemistry and biophysics department.

Von Heijne has a PhD in theoretical physics from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, and holds a master's degree in chemistry and chemical engineering. He is involved in efforts to discover identifying patterns in signal peptides and has developed an algorithm that predicts whether proteins have a signal peptide. He is also involved in research focused on membrane proteins.


Entelos has hired Mark Hovde as vice president of sales and marketing and Will Frederick as chief financial officer.

Prior to joining Entelos, Hovde was the senior vice president of business development for Certara. He was also the co-founder of DataEdge, a company that develops informatics tools for use in clinical trials.

Frederick served as the products division CFO of Avaya, a provider of business collaboration solutions. He was also the CFO at Pharsight, which offered software, consulting, and regulatory services for optimizing clinical drug development.


Definiens has tapped Martin Stuart to serve as the executive vice president and general manager for its North America and Asia Pacific business.

Prior to joining Definiens, Stuart was the senior vice president and general manager of Aperio. Before that, he was the global vice president of sales and services for Entropia, a desktop grid computing company that focused on the life sciences.


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