+49 351 210-1900

Max Planck Institute of Molecular
Cell Biology and Genetics
- Myers -

Pfotenhauerstr. 108
01307 Dresden

Gene Myers

Group Leader

In 2012 Gene Myers joined a growing group of computational biologists in Dresden as the founding director of a new Systems Biology Center that is being built as part of an extension of the Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG). Previously Gene had been a group leader at the HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus (JFRC) since its inception in 2005. Gene came to the JFRC from UC Berkeley where he was on the faculty of Computer Science from 2003 to 2005. He was formerly Vice President of Informatics Research at Celera Genomics for four years where he and his team determined the sequences of the Drosophila, Human, and Mouse genomes using the whole genome shotgun technique that he advocated in 1996. Prior to that Gene was on the faculty of the University of Arizona for 17 years and he received his Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Colorado in 1981. His research interests include the design and analysis of algorithms for problems in computational molecular biology, image analysis of bioimages, and light microscopy with a focus on building models of the cell and cellular systems from imaging data. He is best known for the development of BLAST -- the most widely used tool in bioinformatics, and for the paired-end whole genome shotgun sequencing protocol and the assembler he developed at Celera that delivered the fly, human, and mouse genomes in a three year period. He has also written many seminal papers on the theory of sequence comparison. He was awarded the IEEE 3rd Millenium Acheivement Award in 2000, the Newcomb Cleveland Best Paper in Science award in 2001, and the ACM Kanellakis Prize in 2002. He was voted the most influential in bioinformatics in 2001 by Genome Technology Magazine and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2003. In 2004 he won the International Max-Planck Research Prize and in 2005 was selected as one of two distinguished alumni (with David Haussler) at his alma-mater, the University of Colorado. In 2006 Gene was inducted into Leopoldina, the German Academy of Science and awarded an honarary doctorate at ETH, Zurich.

Scientific Career

since 2012

Director, MPI-CBG
Klaus Tschira Chair, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies

2005 – 2012

Group Leader, HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn

2003 – 2005

Professor of Computer Science & Molecular Biology
University of California, Berkeley

2003 – 2005

Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley Labs &amp Joint Genome Institute, Berkeley

1998 – 2002

Vice President of Informatics Research, Celera Genomics, Rockville

1998 – 1999

Director of Informatics Research, Celera Genomics, Rockville

1991 – 1998

Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson

1991 – 1998

Professor of Computer Science, University of Arizona, Tucson


Acting Department Head, University of Arizona, Tucson

1987 – 1991

Associate Professor, University of Arizona, Tucson

1987 – 1988

Visiting Associate Professor, The Pennsylvannia State University, State College

1981 – 1987

Assistant Professor, University of Arizona, Tucson


Assistant Professor Adjunct, University of Colorado, Boulder


Programmer/Analyst, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder


Student research fellow, Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill

1975 – 1980

Research Assistant, University of Colorado, Boulder


1975 – 1981

University of Colorado
Ph.D. in Computer Science, May 1981.
A Depth-First Search Characterization of k-Connectivity and ItsApplication to Connectivity Testing
Advisor: Andrzej Ehrenfeucht

1971 – 1975

California Institute of Technology
B.S. with Honors in Mathematics, June 1975.



Milner Medal


EMBO Member


ISCB Senior Scientist Award


Linné Lecture, Uppsala Universität, Sweden


Fellow of the ISCB (Intl. Soc. for Comp. Biology, 2010)


Honorary Doctorate (ETH, Zurich)


Leopoldina (German Academy of Science)


University of Colorado Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award


International Max Plank Research Prize


National Academy of Engineering


Fellow of the ACM (Assoc. Comp. Machinery)


ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award


Genome Technology Magazine most influtential in BioInformatics


Newcomb Cleveland Best Paper of the Year Award, Science


IEEE 3rd Millenium Achievement Award


Faculty of Science Distinguished Teaching Award (U. of Arizona)

1976 – 1979

University of Colorado Fellowship (U. of Colorado)


Honeywell Outstanding Junior Engineer (Caltech)


Tau Beta Pi (Caltech)