Benedict Paten (BME): Granted tenure and promoted to associate professor

Benedict Paten has launched a series of high-profile projects that he leads or co-leads, has published numerous journal articles, and is considered a leader in the field of computational biology. He developed a new “human reference genome” to represent the diversity of the human population, which is seen as a landmark result in the field. He leads major efforts including NIH’s Big Data to Knowledge program, NIH’s dataSTAGE cloud platform, NIH’s Analysis, Visualization, and Informatics Lab-Space consortium, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative’s Human Cell Atlas, NIH’s GENCODE project, and NIH’s GTEx project. He also created a minority outreach summer program that has so far served dozens of undergraduate students.

Christopher Vollmers (BME): Granted tenure and promoted to associate professor

Chris Vollmers has published numerous articles in top-tier journals that have led to new insights into improving DNA sequencing, improving high-throughput transcriptome technologies, and probing deeper into how the immune system functions. In particular, Chris has engineered nanopore-based approaches to determine the DNA sequences of immune system receptors that previously had been too complicated to determine, and has created other new approaches to push the boundaries of DNA sequencing. He has received awards for his work including NIH’s prestigious and competitive Maximizing Investigator Research Awards for Early Stage Investigators. He designed a new Data Visualization course and is an extremely well-liked instructor who has a passion for teaching.