Jason Moore Is 2014 Presidential Faculty Lecturer


Professor Jason H. Moore will give the 26th Presidential Faculty Lecture, shining the spotlight on an interdisciplinary field that brings together biological and biomedical sciences with computer science.

Professor Jason Moore will speak about the increasing importance of bioinformatics for research and medicine. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

A leader in this burgeoning field, Moore will deliver his lecture, “Bioinformatics: 25 Years of Integrating the Biological Sciences,” at 4 p.m. on Monday, March 31, in Alumni Hall at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Sponsored by the Office of the President, the event is free and open to the public.

“Bioinformatics is more important than ever in a world filled with big data from the biomedical sciences,” says Moore, the Third Century Professor and professor of genetics and community and family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine. “Advances in medicine depend critically on our ability to store, manage, retrieve, analyze, and interpret data that are too big for standard analytics.”

The complexity of biological processes and their role in disease constitute serious challenges. With the goal of developing new treatments and cures, a computer-driven analytical and statistical methodology is mandatory—an approach christened “bioinformatics.”

The term first came into usage in the early 1990s, coinciding with the popularity of personal computers, the efflorescence of the Internet, and the need to analyze and process biological data from technologies such as DNA sequencing. “It was the momentum of the ‘big data’ from the Human Genome Project that spurred the rapid rise of bioinformatics as a formal discipline,” says Moore.

Moore’s lecture will offer an overview of the field, its history, how it relates to his own research, and what the future may hold. He plans to tell the story of bioinformatics from the perspective of the high school, undergraduate, and graduate students he has worked with over the years.

“The Presidential Lecture Series has always been a highlight of the year for me,“ says Moore. ”I am always inspired by the successes of Dartmouth faculty and the many students that work with them. It is a real honor to deliver the lecture this year.”

Joseph Blumberg