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ACM HONORS DEVELOPER OF KEY SOFTWARE FOR SEQUENCING THE HUMAN GENOME
Data Will Allow Researchers to Make Important Medical Advances

New York, January 22, 2002...The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has recognized Eugene W. Myers for his contribution to sequencing the human genome, the complete DNA content of a human cell, and encoding all of its genes, the basic building blocks of life. Dr. Myers is vice president for informatics research at Celera Genomics, where he lead the algorithmic design and software development of the programs used to accomplish this feat. Knowing the sequence of the human genome is greatly accelerating the pace of key medical discoveries that help to diagnose, cure and prevent human diseases. Professor Myers will receive the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, which carries a $5,000 prize.

"Not only did Professor Myers' mathematical analyses and simulation studies establish the feasibility of the shotgun approach to sequencing large genomes, but he went on to design the algorithms that made the reconstruction of the genome possible," said John R. White, executive director and CEO of ACM. The awards committee noted that Professor Myers led the software development at Celera behind three historic achievements: the sequencing of the Drosophilia (fruit fly), human and mouse genomes. He is also a major contributor to the development of the key algorithms underlying BLAST, the sequence analysis tool most widely used by biologists. Professor Myers is currently on leave from the University of Arizona where he is professor of computer science.

ACM will present the Paris Kanellakis Award to Professor Myers at the annual ACM Awards Banquet on April 27, 2002, at the University of Toronto. The Kanellakis Award honors accomplishments that have had significant and demonstrable effects on the practice of computing. The $5,000 prize is supplied by the Kanellakis family, with additional financial support provided by Brooks/Cole and Thomson Learning, and ACM's Special Interest Groups on Algorithms and Computational Theory (SIGACT) and Programming Languages (SIGPLAN); the ACM Discretionary Fund; and individual contributions.

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Last Update: January 24, 2002
by Patrick J. De Blasi
 
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