Michael Waterma
  • 2002 Canada Gairdner International Award


Emeritus University Professor at the University of Southern California (USC). In 2002, he received the Canada Gairdner International Award for “his contributions to computational molecular biology that greatly facilitated sequencing of the human genome.”

Education and Work Experience

1969, Ph.D. in Statistics and Probability, Michigan State University
1982-2019, Professor of Biological Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science, and University Professor, USC
2020-Present, Emeritus University Professor, USC
2020-Present, Distinguished Research Professor, Biocomplexity Institute, University of Virginia

Honors and Awards

2002, Canada Gairdner International Award
2013, Friendship Award from the Chinese Government 2013, Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
2015, Dan David Prize

Major Academic Achievements

Professor Waterman studies molecular sequence data using computational approaches. His work concentrates on the creation and application of mathematics, statistics and computer science to molecular biology, particularly to DNA, RNA, and protein sequence data. Professor Waterman is the co-developer of the Smith-Waterman algorithm for sequence comparison and of the Lander-Waterman formulas for physical mapping and sequencing.