Stephen Altschul

Senior Investigator
Ph.D., MIT (Mathematics)

Stephen Altschul is a senior investigator at the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

His research focuses on the development of algorithms and measures for the comparison and analysis of DNA and protein molecules.

He helped develop the Multiple Sequence Alignment (MSA) program for global multiple sequence alignment, the MACAW and Gibbs sampling programs for local multiple alignment, and the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) suite of programs for database similarity search.
Altschul also helped develop the statistical theory for ungapped local alignments and for the assessment of multiple distinct alignments, as well as methods for estimating statistical parameters for gapped alignments.

His research has had a particular focus on the construction of appropriate measures for sequence comparison. This has included the development of sequences weighting methods, the description of an information theoretic perspective on substitution matrices, the development of gap costs for pairwise and multiple sequence alignment, and methods for the compositional scaling and adjustment of substitution matrices.

Altschul received his doctorate in mathematics from MIT in 1987.


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