Fran Lewitter headshot

Fran Lewitter


Courtesy of Fran Lewitter

Lewitter named International Society for Computational Biology Fellow

Fran Lewitter, the founding director of Whitehead Institute’s Bioinformatics and Research Computing (BaRC) program from 1994 to 2014, has been named a Fellow of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB). The ISCB Fellows program honors Society members who have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics. 

Lewitter is one of 11 leaders of the field who were named ISCB Fellows this year. Also notable in that group is Trey Ideker, who was a Whitehead Fellow from 2001 to 2003 and is now Professor of Medicine, Bioengineering, and Computer Science at University of California, San Diego.

In her role as leader of BaRC, Lewitter worked with and trained basic biomedical researchers to use sequence and other computational analysis to gain a deeper understanding of different biological questions. Starting in the late 1990s, she recognized the importance of scientific illustration and in the early 2000s built BaRC’s bioinformatics team as the demand for high-throughput experiments and computational methods increased substantially. Today, the program she created plays an important role in more than 120 research projects annually, supporting 80 investigators throughout Whitehead Institute.

Lewitter was the  education editor of PLOS Computational Biology (published by the Public Library of Science) from 2005 to 2014 and an editor of the journal’s “Ten Simple Rules” column from 2014 to 2020. In 2017, she received ISCB’s Outstanding Contributions to ISCB Award, which recognizes individuals who have made lasting and valuable contributions to the Society through their leadership, service, and educational work. More details on Lewitter’s contributions to bioinformatics education and ISCB are available here.



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