By Bio-IT World Staff
March 10, 2014
| Jeff Bizzaro, Chairman of Bioinformatics.org, today announced that Helen M. Berman, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is the 2014 Benjamin Franklin Award winner.
Since 2002, the Benjamin Franklin Award for Open Access in the Life Sciences has been presented by Bioinformatics.org to an individual who has, in his or her practice, promoted free and open access to the materials and methods used in the life sciences.
Berman, the 13th recipient of the award, has been a champion for open access to scientific information since the concept of data sharing was in its infancy. For nearly five-decades she has been committed to ensuring that the Protein Data Bank (PDB) archive has been a resource created by the community and for the community.
As head of the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics
(RCSB), Helen became the Director of the PDB in 1998 and developed the RCSB PDB into a vital and key resource for biology and education. In 2003, she formed the Worldwide PDB
with groups in the UK and Japan to ensure that a single PDB archive continues to be freely and publicly available to the global community.
Her passion for making structural data accessible and understandable by a broad community has driven the development of other bioinformatics resources, ontologies, and community-driven validation standards. These include the Electron Microscopy Data Bank
, a global deposition and retrieval network for cryoEM map, model and associated metadata; the Nucleic Acid Database
, a resource for information about nucleic acid structure; and the Structural Biology Knowledgebase
, a comprehensive resource that integrates the results of structural biology and genomics efforts with other publicly available biological information to facilitate further research.