Eugene Myers
2023
Distinguished Alumni Award
 
recipient

Eugene Myers

BS
 ’
75
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Eugene Myers
2023
 
Distinguished Alumni Award
 recipient

Eugene Myers

BS
 ’
75
 ’
 ’
  ·  

Eugene Myers (BS ’75), director of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Germany, is recognized for his transformative impact on the field of bioinformatics. He created the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) that revolutionized biological sequencing and continues to be used by scientists throughout the world, and later developed a whole-genome shotgun method that helped map the human genome.

It was in the 1990s that BLAST became one of the most important computational tools in biology, allowing scientists to rapidly compare their DNA sequences against a vast database of other sequences. Later, as an executive at Celera Genomics, Myers pushed forward the whole-genome shotgun method that randomly breaks DNA into fragments, sequences them, and then reassembles them. This technique enabled Celera to map the fly, human, and mouse genomes in just three years.  

Myers, who has more than 250,000 total citations, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2003 and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2006. He has been honored with the Max Planck Research Prize in 2004 in 2004, the Association for Computing Machinery’s Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice  Award in 2002, the Royal Society Milner Award in 2019, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Frances E. Allen Medal in 2022.


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