Scientist, inventor and statesman, Benjamin Franklin once said, “As we enjoy great Advantages from the Inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any Invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.” In his spirit, the Bioinformatics Organization, Inc. established the Benjamin Franklin Award in Bioinformatics in 2000 and voted Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Professor Lincoln Stein its 2004 laureate.
The Benjamin Franklin Award in Bioinformatics is a humanitarian award presented annually by Bioinformatics.org to an individual who has, in his or her practice, promoted free and open access to the methods and materials used in the scientific field of bioinformatics. Recipients are chosen based on nominations and votes by his/her peers: the more than 8,000 members of the organization.
“Dr. Stein has created scores of useful, open-source programs. He has championed open-source principals in many venues,” one nominator said of him. “He is currently a co-PI leading the GMOD project to produce open-source software components for model organism databases/websites/etc. His current projects include Generic Genome Browser (web-based genome visualization system), Genome Knowledgebase (ontology of core biological pathways), Gramene (comparative genome browser for grasses), and he is a core developer of BioPerl. Dr. Stein is a pioneer in promoting open-source to the greater community of scientists outside of the bioinformatics world. He has argued these principals in published reviews, lectures and seminars, and at funding-review panels and advisory board meetings.”
For his contributions to science, this recognition comes on the heels of Stein being named “Most Innovative in Biotechnology” by Genome Technology magazine. He is actively involved in the International HapMap Project, which developed new tools and approaches to enhance the ability of scientists to identify disease-related genes and to develop corresponding diagnostic and therapeutic measures, and is a recent recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation for a project to facilitate better and easier cross-comparisons of research and knowledge between various plant species resulting in a greater understanding of plant biology.
Bioinformatics.Org was established in 1998 by J.W. Bizzaro as a place to host collaborations in bioinformatics. In 2000, the Organization had more than 100 members and over one dozen projects. The Organization became incorporated in 2003 and currently has more than 8,000 members and over 140 projects. For more information, visit www.bioinformatics.org.
Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program annually hosts more than 12,000 scientists. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and the DNA Learning Center with programs for middle and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit www.cshl.edu