Steven Salzberg is an eminent computational biologist who is developing novel methods for analysis of DNA and RNA sequenced with next-generation technology. Salzberg’s work aims to find ways to turn massive genomic data sets into biologically and clinically useful information.
His lab currently focuses on three distinct but related research project areas: creating algorithms for assembling whole genomes using the latest sequencing technologies; developing programs that align and assemble RNA sequencing data to reconstruct a detailed picture of all the genes and gene variants that are expressed in a tissue; and using metagenomic sequencing to diagnose infections. His software is used by thousands of labs around the world to solve problems arising in a broad spectrum of biological and medical research areas. A recent project, for instance, used direct DNA sequencing to diagnose brain infections, demonstrating the power of sequencing as a clinical diagnostic tool.
Salzberg began his career at Johns Hopkins University in 1989 as an assistant professor of computer science, and left in 1997 to lead the Bioinformatics department at The Institute of Genomic Research. He moved to the University of Maryland in 2005 and returned to Johns Hopkins in 2011. He was named a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2014.