2018 Benjamin Franklin Award Winner Announced

March 15, 2018

March 15, 2018 | The members of Bioinformatics.org have voted Desmond Higgins, Professor of Bioinformatics at the University College Dublin (UCD) Conway Institute, as the winner of the 2018 Benjamin Franklin Award for Open Access in the Life Sciences.

Higgins has been working on methods and software for DNA and protein sequence alignment since 1985. While at Trinity College, Dublin, he wrote a series of sequence alignment programs called CLUSTAL. He later co-developed T-Coffee (Tree-based Consistency Objective Function for Alignment Evaluation), and his current research group at the UCD Conway Institute develops new, open source tools for evolutionary biology and the mulitvariate analysis of omics data. He has received more than 100,000 citations since 1990 and has 10 papers with over 1,000 citations each. In 2007, Higgins was elected to the Royal Irish Academy.

“The CLUSTAL series are among the very first bioinformatics tools used by any student and are fundamental to the field, so it's very much an honor for us to recognize Des for his contribution,” said Jeff Bizzaro, founder and president of Bioninformatics.org.

Higgins will give his laureate presentation on Thursday, May 17, at the 2018 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo.