Erez Lieberman Aiden

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Erez Lieberman Aiden
Erez Lieberman Aiden.jpg
Lieberman Aiden in 2011
Born 1980 (age 33–34)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Fields Applied mathematics, biophysics, computer science, molecular biology
Institutions Baylor College of Medicine
Alma mater Princeton University, MIT, Harvard University, Yeshiva University
Thesis Evolution and the Emergence of Structure (2010)
Doctoral advisor Eric Lander, Martin Nowak
Notable awards Lemelson–MIT Student Prize, Technology Review TR35
Spouse Aviva Presser Aiden
Website
www.erez.com

Erez Lieberman Aiden (born 1980), formerly known as Erez Lieberman, is an American research scientist active in multiple fields related to applied mathematics. He is a professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, and formerly a fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and visiting faculty member at Google. Using mathematical and computational approaches, he has studied evolution in a range of contexts, including that of networks through evolutionary graph theory and languages in the field of culturomics. He has published scientific articles in a variety of disciplines.

Lieberman Aiden has won awards including the Lemelson–MIT Student Prize and the American Physical Society's Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Biological Physics. In 2009, Lieberman Aiden was named as one of 35 top innovators under 35 by Technology Review and in 2011 he was one of the recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Early life and education[edit]

Erez Lieberman Aiden grew up in Brooklyn with three siblings. He began computer programming at the age of seven.[1] His father, Aharon Lieberman, was a technology entrepreneur and owned a factory in New Jersey.[2][3] As a child Lieberman Aiden spoke Hebrew and Hungarian, making English his third language.[3]

Lieberman Aiden studied mathematics, physics, and philosophy at Princeton, and earned a Master's degree in History at Yeshiva University. He proceeded to complete a joint PhD in mathematics and bioengineering at the Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, where he was advised by Eric Lander and Martin Nowak.[4]

Research[edit]

Lieberman Aiden contributed to the founding of evolutionary graph theory along with his PhD supervisor Martin Nowak.[5][6] He has since been involved in researching the three dimensional structure of the human genome and the field of culturomics.

The fractal globule model (left) of three-dimensional genome structure suggested by Lieberman Aiden and coworkers contrasted with an equilibrium model (right)

Three-dimensional genome structure[edit]

Lieberman Aiden was part of a team of scientists from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and MIT that first suggested human DNA folds into a fractal globule rather than an equilibrium globule.[2] This finding explains how each cell's genome is able to be heavily compacted without forming a knot. Lieberman Aiden and coworkers invented a variant of chromosome conformation capture called "Hi-C" which produces a genome-wide measure of contact probabilities that point to a 3-dimensional genome structure. This technique combines existing chromosome capture methodology with next-generation sequencing, enabling an all-versus-all measure of chromatin contacts.[7]

In 2009 this work was published in the journal Science and was featured as a cover illustration.[8] Following the publication, Lieberman Aiden was quoted as saying:[9]

We’ve long known that on a small scale, DNA is a double helix … But if the double helix didn’t fold further, the genome in each cell would be two meters long. Scientists have not really understood how the double helix folds to fit into the nucleus of a human cell, which is only about a hundredth of a millimeter in diameter. This new approach enabled us to probe exactly that question.[9]

Erez Lieberman Aiden lecturing on culturomics at Harvard University in 2011

Culturomics[edit]

Lieberman Aiden was involved in the analysis of a corpus of around 5 million digitised books, applying data mining techniques to advance the new field of culturomics.[10][11] Leiberman Aiden was involved in a project to digitise Anglo-Saxon texts in 2004, the analysis of which lead to the discovery of verb regularisation, a process whereby irregular verbs become increasingly regular over time.[12]

After the announcement of Google Books, Lieberman Aiden approached Google's Director of Research Peter Norvig and was permitted to statistically analyse their data.[13] His work contributed to the Google Ngram Viewer, released in December 2010, which makes use of culturomics ideas to produce normalized historical trends for any sequence of letters.[10] This project published a number of findings in the journal Science, including the changing dynamic of fame and instances of literary censorship during the Second World War.[14]

Awards[edit]

In 2008 Lieberman Aiden was awarded the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for his work on the iShoe, meant to assist elderly people with balance problems and prevent falls that could cause injury.[15][16] The following year, the iShoe was listed as one of "20 New Biotech Breakthroughs that Will Change Medicine" by Popular Mechanics.[17] A year later Lieberman Aiden was named as one of 35 top innovators under 35 (TR35) by MIT's Technology Review magazine.[18]

In 2010, the American Physical Society presented Lieberman Aiden with the Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Biological Physics for his thesis titled "Evolution and the emergence of structure".[19] His doctoral dissertation was also awarded the Hertz Thesis Prize.[20] Lieberman Aiden was named, along with 95 other American researchers, as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2011.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Erez Lieberman Aiden married Aviva Presser Aiden in 2005; following the marriage both husband and wife appended "Aiden" to their surnames.[10] They have a son named Gabriel Galileo and a daughter.[2][8] Outside of scientific interests, Lieberman Aiden participated in a modern art collaboration with Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick which was exhibited in galleries in the United States and Europe.[15]

Lieberman Aiden and his wife founded Bears Without Borders, a nonprofit organisation which distributes stuffed toys to the developing world.[4][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Karagianis, Liz (2010). "Celebrating Innovation". Spectrvm (MIT). Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Yong, Ed (June 8, 2011). "The Renaissance Man: How to Become a Scientist Over and Over Again". Not Exactly Rocket Science (Discover Magazine). Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Kaiser, Jocelyn (June 6, 2012). "Renaissance Man". Princeton Alumni Weekly (Princeton). Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Barth, Amy (March 24, 2010). "5 Questions for the Man Who Put Three D's in DNA". Discover Magazine. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ Forrest, Sara. "Computational Pioneer Erez Lieberman Explains how the Web -- and Spam -- Evolves". Computerworld. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ Lieberman, E.; Hauert, C.; Nowak, M. A. (2005). "Evolutionary dynamics on graphs". Nature 433 (7023): 312–316. doi:10.1038/nature03204. PMID 15662424.  edit
  7. ^ Lieberman-Aiden, E.; Van Berkum, N. L.; Williams, L.; Imakaev, M.; Ragoczy, T.; Telling, A.; Amit, I.; Lajoie, B. R.; Sabo, P. J.; Dorschner, M. O.; Sandstrom, R.; Bernstein, B.; Bender, M. A.; Groudine, M.; Gnirke, A.; Stamatoyannopoulos, J.; Mirny, L. A.; Lander, E. S.; Dekker, J. (2009). "Comprehensive Mapping of Long-Range Interactions Reveals Folding Principles of the Human Genome". Science 326 (5950): 289–293. doi:10.1126/science.1181369. PMC 2858594. PMID 19815776.  edit
  8. ^ a b Keim, Brandom (August 20, 2012). "World's Most Wired Biophysicist". Wired. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "UMMS Scientist Helps Decipher the 3-D Structure of the Human Genome". Focus UMMS 12 (4). Nov 2009. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d Hand, Eric (2011). "Culturomics: Word play". Nature 474 (7352): 436–440. doi:10.1038/474436a.  edit
  11. ^ Michel, J. -B.; Shen, Y. K.; Aiden, A. P.; Veres, A.; Gray, M. K.; Google Books, J. P.; Pickett, D.; Hoiberg, D.; Clancy, P.; Norvig, J.; Orwant, S.; Pinker, M. A.; Nowak, E. L.; Aiden, E. L. (2011). "Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books". Science 331 (6014): 176–182. Bibcode:2011Sci...331..176M. doi:10.1126/science.1199644. PMC 3279742. PMID 21163965.  edit
  12. ^ Holmes, Bob (October 11, 2007). "Language 'Mutations' Affect Least-Used Words". New Scientist. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  13. ^ Cohen, Patricia (December 16, 2010). "In 500 Billion Words, New Window on Culture". New York Times. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  14. ^ Hotz, Robert Lee (December 17, 2010). "Word-Wide Web Launches". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Erez Lieberman-Aiden: 2010 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Winner". Lemelson-MIT. 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  16. ^ ScienceDaily (July 24, 2008). Balance problems? Step into the IShoe,Science Daily.
  17. ^ Wenner, Melinda (December 18, 2009). "20 New Biotech Breakthroughs that Will Change Medicine". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  18. ^ MIT (September 10, 2009).2009 Young Innovators under 35, Erez Lieberman-Aiden, 29, Harvard University/MIT., Technology Review.
  19. ^ "Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Biological Physics". American Physical Society. 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  20. ^ Hertz Foundation. "Hertz Foundation Fellows: Erez Lieberman Aiden". Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  21. ^ Office of the Press Secretary. "President Obama Honors Outstanding Early-Career Scientists". The White House. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 

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