Johns Hopkins University
May 24, 2022
TIME today named Michael Schatz, a computational biologist and one of the world's leading genomics experts, to its 2022 list of the 100 most influential people for his contributions to the first complete sequencing of the human genome, "the most complete look yet at the genetic script underlying the very nature of who we are as human beings."
A Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of computer science and biology at Johns Hopkins University, Schatz harnesses the power of computing to better understand human and agricultural genetics. His ongoing work to demystify the structure and function of genomes is leading directly to deeper knowledge of human diseases, targeted medical treatments and improved plants and crops.
Schatz shares TIME's honor with Telomere-to-Telomere Consortium colleagues Adam Phillippy, Karen Miga and Evan Eichler.
"Dr. Schatz embodies the highest aspirations of universities like Johns Hopkins and the impact they can make on the world," said Johns Hopkins University President Ron Daniels. "He has pushed the boundaries of computational biology to decode successfully one of the greatest mysteries of our species. This extraordinary feat of international interdisciplinary research will fuel scientific and medical advancements for decades to come."
Twenty years ago, Schatz was working in cybersecurity when he abruptly changed his career trajectory to genomics, inspired by breakthroughs coming from the Human Genome Project, the first attempt to decipher the human genome. Being integral to the ultimate completion of that project has been a dreamy affirmation of both that choice and what has become his life's work, being a pioneer in the "genomics revolution."