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Congratulations to Stephen F. Altschul, Ph.D. on his appointment as Scientist Emeritus at the NIH

May 24, 2021

Stephen F. Altschul, Ph.D. has received the appointment of Scientist Emeritus at the NIH.  In this role, Dr. Altschul will continue to collaborate with scientists inside and outside of NIH, complete existing and joining new research projects, and write and review scientific journal articles. Dr. Altschul is the first NLM intramural investigator to receive this honor.

Dr. Altschul retired as a Senior Investigator from the Computational Biology Branch at NCBI on September 30, 2020. Over the course of 35 years at NLM, Dr. Altschul had a robust bioinformatics research portfolio focused on the:

  • description of appropriate measures for the comparison and analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and protein sequences
  • development of algorithms and programs for pairwise and multiple sequence alignment and comparison, including database searches
  • derivation of statistics for assessing the biological relevance of sequence similarity
  • application of sequence comparison methods to specific biological problems

In addition, Dr. Altschul is the co-author of the BLAST algorithm used for sequence analysis of proteins and nucleotides. 

“Dr. Altshul’s expertise in the statistics of sequence comparisons and measurement of sequence similarity formed the computational core of the BLAST algorithm, used over 200,000 times a day to evaluate genomic sequences ,” said NLM Director Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD.  “We are very proud of his outstanding contributions to the NIH and the scientific community.”


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Last Reviewed: May 24, 2021