David Haussler

David Haussler (* October 1953 ) is an American computational biologist.


Haussler is the son of an engineer and grew up in Los Angeles. He was initially interested in painting, which he studied for several months in 1971 at the Academy of Arts in San Francisco, and psychology, which he studied for two years in Los Angeles at the Immaculate Heart College ( IHC). From 1973, he studied mathematics at Connecticut College with a bachelor 's degree in 1975. According to a summer job in the laboratory of his older brother Mark, the biochemist was at the University of Arizona, he began taking an interest in biology, but also realized that laboratory work is not his strength was. However, the residence led to a first publication in Science on the metabolism of vitamin D. In 1979, he received his master's degree in mathematics from the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He then studied further computer science at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he received his doctorate in 1982 with Andrzej Ehrenfeucht (Insertion and Iterated insertion as Operations on Formal Languages) in Colorado at that time also studied further later leading bioinformaticians as Eugene Myers, who at soon after the development of the BLAST algorithm was involved, and Gary Stormo. Haussler even dealt first with artificial intelligence and statistics. In the 1990s, he turned again to the genetics and rose at the University of California, Santa Cruz ( UCSC ) in the Human Genome Project a. He currently conducts research at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute ( HHMI ).

He is also a professor ( Biomolecular Engineering ) at UCSC, and director of the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering. He is co -director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research and Consulting Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco ( Department of Biopharmacy ).

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (2006), the California Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the Dickson Prize in Science and the Allen Newell Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM ) and the AAAI. In 2005 he won the Classic Paper Award of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence ( AAAI ). He is a member of the AAAI and the American Society of Human Genetics. In 2008 he received the Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award from the International Society for Computational Biology and the Curt Stern Award from the American Society for Human Genetics. He Scientist of the Year of Research and Development Magazine in 2001.

His PhD Yoav one friend.

He is married and has two children.


In the 1990s, he developed important algorithms for large Gensequenzierungsprojekte by he used Hidden Markov Models. This could be filtered for genes encoding proteins from the information wealth of sequencing data. In 1999, he joined the Human Genome Project. His student Jim Kent developed a program GigAssembler, with the DNA of the human genome ( around 3 billion base pairs ) from (then about 400,000 from laboratories around the world ) many snippets ( the partially defective goods) are composed of base sequences of up to several thousand bases in length could. They were able to catch up ( with much fewer resources ) at the University of California, Santa Cruz ( UCSC ) compared to the private project of Celera Genomics ( where Eugene Myers headed the computer science ). On 2 July 2000, the entire sequence of the human genome was published on the Internet. Haussler and colleagues then developed the UCSC browser, which allowed the interactive, enriched with background information on viewing the sequence.

The team of Haussler was then involved in further sequencing projects (mouse, Drosophila, chimpanzee, macaque, chicken, rat). From the comparison of the genetic material to draw conclusions on the evolution could be drawn. Haussler and colleagues found in the evolution hardly altered gene sequences - 481 segments with more than 200 base pairs ( and 5000 with more than 100 base pairs ) that were completely identical between human, rat and mouse (and almost identical to the corresponding sections in chicken and dog). The role of these regions is not entirely clear. You do not code for proteins and belong to what has been referred to disparagingly as junk DNA, a change in them is associated with a high negative selection. Haussler research with colleagues at their role in gene regulation.

Through gene comparison Haussler was also with colleagues with 98 percent accuracy the genetic material of the common mammalian ancestor who lived 100 million years ago (a type of shrew ), reconstruct.

They could also find sections that had changed significantly in humans ( human accelerated regions, HAR), including a region HAR 1, which is read especially in the Cajal - Retzius neurons during embryonic development of the first 7 to 19 weeks, and a key role plays in the development of the neocortex.

More recently (2008) he deals with the evolution of whole genomes.