NCBI Director Lipman Garners Biotechnology Research Award

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Director David J. Lipman, MD, was awarded the 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Promega Biotechnology Research Award in July. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the application of biotechnology through fundamental microbiological research and development.

Lipman was among the first to see the need for extremely efficient computer programs that would compare one DNA or protein sequence against a complete database of all known sequences. He also led in creating powerful bioinformatics software tools that have revolutionized discovery research.

In his role as director of NCBI, he has helped to build both the NCBI and GenBank, the NIH annotated collection of all publicly available DNA sequences, into the go to places for biological and genetic information.

He is a strong proponent of easily accessible worldwide data, tools, and biotechnology information. His vision and leadership led to PubMed, which facilitates access to biomedical literature, and, in 1990, he introduced BLAST, an extremely fast method for comparative sequence analysis.

Lipman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. He received his BA from Brown University and his MD from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

The Promega Biotechnology Research Award was presented in July, during the 108th General Meeting of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM). Boston-based ASM is the world’s oldest and largest life science organization, with more than 43,000 members worldwide. Its mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.