Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Researcher Profile: Thomas Schneider

Dr. Thomas Schneider is a Research Scientist and Senior Investigator at the National Institutes for Health, in Frederick, MD. Tom is widely known for his work in molecular information theory, which views molecular operations on DNA and RNA through the lens of bits and entropies.

Tom received a BS in biology from MIT, following in the footsteps of his father (as well as Claude Shannon, the father of information theory). He then completed his Ph.D. in molecular biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. It was during his Ph.D. that he first got the concept that the information in a protein binding site on DNA evolves to match the information needed to locate the sites in the genome.

Among Tom's many contributions is an intuitive tool, called the sequence logo, to help visualize the amount of information processed during protein binding. He has since expanded his work to consider the relationship between energy and information in biological systems. Tom's most recent work shows the remarkable result that the energy efficiency of certain biomolecular mechanisms can be explained using results from information theory.

Tom's current home page and contact information are here.

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