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Temple F Smith

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Name  Temple Smith

Temple F. Smith httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Known for  Smith-Waterman algorithm
Notable awards  ISCB Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award
Education  University of Colorado Boulder

Temple Ferris Smith (born March 7, 1939) is a emeritus professor in biomedical engineering who helped to develop the Smith-Waterman algorithm with Michael Waterman in 1981. The Smith-Waterman algorithm serves as the basis for multi sequence comparisons, identifying the segment with the maximum local sequence similarity, see sequence alignment. This algorithm is used for identifying similar DNA, RNA and protein segments. He was director of the BioMolecular Engineering Research Center at Boston University for twenty years and is now professor emeritus.



Smith obtained his bachelor's degree in 1963 from the Physics Department, Purdue University, followed by a PhD. in 1969 in the Physics Department, University of Colorado at Boulder.

Research and career

After his PhD, smith did postdoctoral research from March 1969 to August 1971 in the Department of Biophysics and Genetics, University of Colorado Medical School, Boulder.

His research is centered on the application of various computer science and mathematical methods for the discovery of the syntactic and semantic patterns in nucleic acid and amino acid sequences. In recent years this has focus on molecular evolution of protein families. such as the WD-repeat beta propellers, translation associated GTPase, and the ribosomal proteins. He is known for the creation of the Smith-Waterman algorithm.

Smith has held the following appointments:

  • 1965 -1966: Instructor, US Air Force Lowery, Denver, CO
  • 1971 - 1984: Professor, Department of Physics, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI
  • 1985 - 1991: Director, Molecular Biology Computer Research Resource, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health
  • 1991-2009: Director, BioMolecular Engineering Resource Center, Boston University
  • 1999 - : Co-organizer, 1999 Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth Discovering Biotechnology Day
  • 2000 - : Co-Founder and Chief Information Officer, Modular Genetics, Inc.
  • 2000 - : Youth Hockey Coach
  • Awards and honors

    Smith was awarded the ISCB Senior Scientist Award and elected ISCB Fellow in 2009 by the International Society for Computational Biology.

    Im 2002, he was inducted into American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) “for extraordinary contributions in defining and advancing the field of bioinformatics, with emphasis on novel engineering methods to predict protein structure and function”.


    Temple F. Smith Wikipedia