Michael Eisen

Michael Eisen

Michael Eisen is a computational and evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Berkeley and Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He received his undergraduate degree in mathematics (with extensive side studies in ecology and evolutionary biology) from Harvard College in 1989. He received a Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard University in 1996 for his doctoral research on the structure and function of influenza virus proteins. After a summer working as a play-by-play announcer for the Columbia Mules (a minor league baseball team in Columbia, Tennessee), he joined the laboratories of Patrick O. Brown and David Botstein at Stanford as a postdoctoral fellow. While at Stanford, Eisen developed methods and software for the analysis of data from genome-wide expression studies. In 2000, he moved to Berkeley, where he runs his own lab studying how regulatory information is encoded in genome sequences and the role that variation in regulatory sequences has played in evolution. Dr. Eisen is an ardent advocate for the free flow of scientific methods, data, and knowledge. In 2000, Dr. Eisen and two colleages (former NIH Director and Nobel Prize winner Harold Varmus, and Stanford Biochemist Patrick O. Brown) founded the Public Library of Science (PLoS), an open-access scientific publisher and advocacy organization dedicated to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. In 2002 Dr. Eisen was awarded the 2002 Benjamin Franklin Award in Bioinformatics, given annually to “an individual who has in his or her practice promoted freedom and openness in the field of bioinformatics,” for his work on the Public Library of Science and for his freely available microarray analysis software, and in 2004 he received a Wired Rave Award in Science for “cracking the spine of the publishing cartel.”