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David Haussler, Ph.D.

David Haussler, Ph.D.

David Haussler’s research lies at the interface of mathematics, computer science, and molecular biology. He develops new statistical and algorithmic methods to explore the molecular function and evolution of the human genome, integrating cross-species comparative and high-throughput genomics data to study gene structure, function, and regulation. He is credited with pioneering the use of hidden Markov models (HMMs), stochastic context-free grammars, and discriminative kernel method for analyzing DNA, RNA, and protein sequences. He was the first to apply the latter methods to the genome-wide search for gene expression biomarkers in cancer, now a major effort of his laboratory.

As a collaborator on the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium, his team posted the first publicly available computational assembly of the human genome sequence on the internet — the precursor of the UCSC Genome Browser, a web-based tool that is used extensively in biomedical research and serves as the platform for many large-scale genomics projects.

He is the Distinguished Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and scientific director of the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. He is also an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, vice chair of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH), cofounder of the Genome 10K Project, and scientific co-director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), UC Santa Cruz.

Haussler is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. He has received a number of awards, including the 2015 Dan David Prize in the Future category, the 2011 Weldon Memorial prize for application of mathematics and statistics to biology, 2009 ASHG Curt Stern Award in Human Genetics, the 2008 Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award from the International Society for Computational Biology, the 2006 Dickson Prize for Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and the 2003 ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award in Artificial Intelligence.

Haussler received his B.A. from Connecticut College, his M.S. from California Polytechnic State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder.