Ben Langmead receives Benjamin Franklin Award
Ben Langmead, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, has received the Benjamin Franklin Award for Open Access in the Life Sciences. The award is presented annually to someone who has promoted free and open access to important materials and methods used in the life sciences. Langmead accepted the award from Bioinformatics.org at the 2016 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo, held April 5 through 7 in Boston.
Langmead was recognized because of his stature as one of the most highly influential and highly cited authors of open source bioinformatic software. His Bowtie read alignment tool and its sequel Bowtie 2 are widely used, with more than 10,000 citations between them. Those tools are also used within more than 50 other software tools. Langmead also has a series of publications on open source cloud-enabled tools that have collectively pushed forward the frontier of what everyday biological researchers can do with large sequencing datasets. All of his software, and all the software from his lab, are free and open source. In addition, he has made available a large collection of very popular open teaching resources.
The Benjamin Franklin Award has been honoring open access life science projects since 2002. Langmead is the 15th winner. Steven Salzberg, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Biostatistics, and Langmead’s colleague in the Department of Computer Science at Whiting, received that award in 2013. In fact, Langmead says it was attendance at a Salzberg lecture in 2007 that inspired him to pursue genomics.
“I hadn’t though of genomics as an area that I could work in until I met Steven Salzberg,” Langmead told Bio-ITWorld.com in a recent article.