Chris Mungall, computer research scientist in the Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology (EGSB) Division, has been awarded the 2017 Exceptional Contributions to Biocuration Award. According to the award announcement by the International Society for Biocuration (ISB), he “has dedicated his professional career to assisting the capture, computational integration and operation, and dissemination of data.”
The announcement further describes him playing “a leading role in the development and integration of key biological ontologies and databases covering gene function, anatomy, phenotypes and the environment.” The society recognizes his work to be “impactful on science and society at large, and […] used by many people spanning a broad spectrum from clinical to basic research, bridging across diverse disciplines such as genomics, systems biology, paleontology, and environmental health.”
The ISB promotes the field of biocuration and provides a forum for information exchange through meetings and workshops for biocurators, developers, and researchers with an interest in biocuration. The society is currently chaired by EGSB’s bioinformatics scientist Monica Munoz-Torres, who accepted the chair position following the 2016 – 2017 ISB Executive Committee elections in November.
Both Mungall and Munoz-Torres are members of the Berkeley Bioinformatics Open-Source Projects group (BBOP), a team of scientific researchers and software engineers dedicated to developing tools and applying computational technologies to solve biological problems. Munoz-Torres is the group’s biocuration lead, offering evolutionary and biologically-relevant perspectives to the development of genome annotation editing tools.