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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Chris Burge, 33

Biotechnology

MIT

Chris Burge admits it’s been hard to choose a research focus. In high school he won math contests but in college majored in biology. He traveled to Nicaragua to see if medicine was his calling but wound up teaching people there about computers. He finally settled on the interface between biology and mathematics and returned for graduate study in math at Stanford University, his alma mater. The sophisticated computer program he developed there, called Genscan, predicts the locations of genes in the human genome and what proteins they produce. Released in 1997,Genscan is the most popular program of its type. Geneticists and molecular biologists are using it to identify human disease genes and potential drug targets and are applying it to agriculture. It is available free on the Web for nonprofit use and has been licensed to dozens of companies. Now at MIT’s biology department, Burge has developed a companion program, GenomeScan, that compares known proteins to increase the accuracy of Genscan predictions. He hopes to answer fundamental questions that could shed light on how human genes are expressed.

2002 TR35 Winners

Ewan Birney

Biotechnology

Fiona Brinkman

Biotechnology

Chris Burge

Biotechnology

Benjamin Cravatt

Biotechnology

Nathaniel David

Biotechnology

Susan Hagness

Medicine

Derek Hansford

Materials

J. Joseph Kim

Medicine

Steven Laken

Medicine

Kelvin Lee

Medicine

Milan Mrksich

Materials

Stephen OConnor

Biotechnology

Alexander Olek

Biotechnology

Vijay Pande

Biotechnology

Stephen Quake

Materials

David Sabatini

Biotechnology

John Santini

Medicine

David Schaffer

Medicine

Christoph Westphal

Biotechnology

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