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Circling the Dome

Genome Giant

Steven Salzberg

Johns Hopkins scientist Steven Salzberg, known for his ability to tackle the most difficult projects in genome sequencing, has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Salzberg and his team have led sequencing efforts on a huge variety of species, from viruses and bacteria to plants and animals. He developed one of the first gene-finding programs for the Human Genome Project and eventually helped to write the 2001 Science paper that unveiled the first human genetic sequence. He co-founded the Influenza Genome Sequencing Project—the first long-term study of the evolutionary factors that make influenza so virulent—and also developed a computational gene finder that was subsequently used to analyze thousands of genomes, including the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, syphilis, tuberculosis and anthrax.

More recently, Salzberg has been at work developing software for sequencing and analyzing genomic data. His team is currently working on the mega-genomes of redwood and sequoia trees, which will be the largest genomes ever sequenced when finished. Salzberg’s team also has used genomic sequencing to diagnose brain infections, and it has developed computer software to find active genes in a tissue sample.

Salzberg directs the Center for Computational Biology in the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine and is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science and Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins.