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FLASH collaborator Peer Bork receives Novozymes prize


Molecular data in life sciences bring huge opportunities for deeper understanding of life, but they need to be digested, organized and analysed in order to be utilized by researchers worldwide. And the quantity of molecular life science data is increasing exponentially since their inception many years ago, some doubling in less than 2 years.

With STRING, STITCH, SMART, eggNOG and iTOL, Peer Bork and colleagues have developed tools for researchers, so they can now more easily analyse the many data.

“With databases and tools, we try to create an opportunity to capture everything that emerged from around the world about how genes function, how they are phylogenetically related and how proteins or chemicals interact in and between various organisms. Progress was slow in the beginning, but today we have a huge valuable network of bioinformatics resources that can help researchers and companies worldwide to investigate their theories on diseases, the environment and other global challenges,” explains Peer Bork, Director of the Heidelberg site of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Germany.

With innovative approaches and resources in a number of subfields of biology, Peer Bork has tremendously accelerated the utilization of these modern data for knowledge generation and for biotechnological applications.

In recognition of the outstanding research he has undertaken during his entire research career, the 2021 Novozymes Prize is being awarded to Peer Bork.

“Peer Bork is receiving the 2021 Novozymes Prize for developing groundbreaking, publicly available and integrative bioinformatic tools. By combining creativity and talent, Peer Bork has developed truly original tools, databases and web servers to collect and analyse the vast quantity of biological data now available with new technologies. His methods have since been used by hundreds of thousands of academic and industrial researchers for countless applications,” says Bernard Henrissat, Chair of the Committee on the Novozymes Prize, Research Director Emeritus at Aix-Marseille University, France and Professor at the Technical University of Denmark.

The Prize is awarded to recognize outstanding research or technology contributions that benefit the development of biotechnological science for innovative solutions. The Prize is accompanied by DKK 5 million and is awarded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Read more at the Novo Nordisk Foundation.