Steven Salzberg is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Biostatistics
and the Director of the Center for Computational Biology in the
McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins
From 2005-2011, he was the Director of the Center for Bioinformatics
and Computational Biology (CBCB) and the Horvitz Professor of Computer Science at
the University of Maryland, College Park. From 1997-2005 he was
Senior Director of Bioinformatics at The
Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, Maryland, one
of the world's leading DNA sequencing centers at the time.
Dr. Salzberg received his B.A. degree in English and M.S. and M.Phil. degrees in Computer Science from Yale University, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Harvard University. He joined the Computer Science Department at Johns Hopkins as an Assistant Professor in 1989.
Before switching to bioinformatics and genomics, Dr. Salzberg's research focused on machine learning and its applications to fields ranging from astronomy to molecular biology. His interest in the human genome project motivated him to develop one of the first computational gene-finding systems for the human genome in the early 1990s. His initial collaborations with TIGR at that time led to the development of the Glimmer gene finder, which has been used in the analysis of thousands of bacterial, archaeal, and viral genomes, including Borrelia burgdorferi (the Lyme disease bacterium), Treponema pallidum (the syphilis bacterium), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Vibrio cholerae, Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), and many others. He and his research team developed a eukaryotic gene finder for Plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite, and later adapted it for the human genome, the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa (rice), Cryptococcus neoformans, Brugia malayi, and other species.
Salzberg's lab has a major focus on next-generation sequence alignment
and on large-scale genome assembly. They have
assembled hundreds of genomes, large and small, and
developed a variety of genome assembly algorithms,
including the open-source AMOS
assembly package. In recent years Salzberg and his students have
introduced several pioneering, highly efficient systems for alignment of
next-generation sequencing reads,
including the Bowtie, Tophat, and Cufflinks systems, which are
now used by thousands of labs around the world.
All of the group's
software is free and open source, and their systems have
been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.
In addition to his software systems, Salzberg has
contributed analyses to many genome sequencing projects, including
the human genome, multiple plant and animal genomes, and many bacteria.
He was a co-founder of the Influenza Genome Sequencing Project, the
first large-scale genomics study of human and avian influenza
Dr. Salzberg has authored or co-authored over 200
publications in leading scientific journals, and his h-index is
108. He is a Fellow of
the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a
Fellow of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB), and
a former member of
the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for
Biotechnology Information at NIH. He was the 2013 winner of the Benjamin
Franklin Award for Open Access in the Life Sciences, and the 2013 winner
of the Robert G. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking for his Forbes
science column. In 2001 and again in 2014 he was listed as a Highly
Cited Researcher by Thomson Reuters, a compilation of the 1% most-cited
researchers in the world.
currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the journals Genome
Journal of Computational Biology, PLoS ONE, BMC
Genomics, BMC Bioinformatics,
and Biology Direct,
and he is a member of the Faculty of 1000.
He co-chaired the Third (1999) through the Eighth (2005)
Conferences on Computational Genomics, the 2007 and 2009
Conferences on Microbial Genomics, and the 2009 Workshop on