Liu Named 2020 Benjamin Franklin Award Laureate

March 3, 2020

March 3, 2020 | Xiaole Shirley Liu has been announced as the winner of the 2020 Benjamin Franklin Award for Open Access in the Life Sciences. Liu, a Professor with the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health, was selected from 13 finalists by members of

Liu will give her laureate presentation on Thursday, April 23, at the 2020 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo.

“Shirley received a lot of support from the community in the selection process,” said Jeff Bizzaro, founder and president of “She is another great choice for the award, and we look forward to the presentation ceremony in April.”

Liu is a leader in developing open source algorithms and software for the integration of high-throughput genomics data to better understand gene regulation. Published in 2008, her most widely-used software is MACS, a peak-finding algorithm that has been cited more than 6,000 times. MACS has been essential to the interpretation of ChIP-seq data and was an integral component of both research in individual labs worldwide, but also large-scale projects such as ENCODE. To date, she has published more than 30 scientific software packages and has more recently developed important new tools for CRISPR/Cas9 study design and for understanding tumor development, drug response and resistance. Her research has helped to popularize the creation of open source software for genomics research and has had a tremendous impact on our understanding of gene regulation.