Welcome to my Wikipedia user page!
Stephen Chervitz Trutane is my official, legal name though it was originally Stephen Allen Chervitz, as described here. So you might know me as having the surname Trutane or as Chervitz, depending on what era of my life or circle of friends you know me from. I respond to either, so use whichever one you want. For simplicity, you can just call me "Steve".
By day, I'm a bioinformatics software engineer at Personalis, enabling better personalized medicine by providing tools to support research and clinical-grade interpretation of variations in individual human genomes. I also worked on genome analysis tools at Omicia and before that at Affymetrix where I helped annotate DNA microarray probe sets for end-user scientists via the NetAffx web portal. I came to Affy in Nov 2000 when it acquired Neomorphic, where I worked since Sep 1998. So computers and biological "omics" data are my friends.
I have a B.A. in biology from Macalester College and a Ph.D. from CU Boulder's MCDB department, working under Prof. Joseph Falke in the biochemistry department doing wet-lab molecular biology experiments on a chemoreceptor that mediates bacterial chemotaxis. I did ample amounts of site-directed mutagenesis and in vitro signal transduction assays, as well as 3D molecular graphics visualization and protein structure analysis and other fun stuff (like teaching myself C).
After Boulder, I shifted directions into the world of genomics (or post-genomics) joining David Botstein's lab (while he was at Stanford) working on the Saccharomyces Genome Database (S. cerevisiae was the first eukaryote to have it's genome completely sequenced, which happened in April 1996, about 3 months after I started with SGD). While at SGD, I developed lots of Perl modules for working with bioinformatics data and contributed most of this code to the open source BioPerl project, which was just getting started around this time.
I continue to stay in touch with BioPerl but am no longer doing active code development. I've also been involved in the BioDAS, GenoViz, and HCLS projects and still have a strong interest in these areas. I'm on the board of the FGED Society (since 2002) and have continued volunteering with them as their secretary and webmaster since 2010.
In my spare time, when I'm not having fun with my family, training for triathlons, promoting health and fitness, tweeting, blogging, or contributing to Wikipedia, I do what I can to help humanity with the organization I founded, TeamHuman.org, still largely a work in progress. Wikipedia, I feel, is well-aligned with the "promoting a shared understanding" goal of TeamHuman.org.
Other online hangouts
My Wikipedia story: When I was a kid I used to browse a physical encyclopedia (I think it was a World Book Encyclopedia ca. 1974), reading random pages here and there. One day when I was 13 or 14 years old, I came across a page that changed my life, specifically a section describing molecular biology. It blew me away that we humans have figured out the genetic code, a code that nearly all cells on earth use for creating proteins from DNA. My teachers had never mentioned the topic at all! The rest of my life has essentially been following up on what I stumbled up on that day, pursuing a Ph.D. and now working at a genome analysis company.
I've been contributing to English wikipedia sporadically for the past few years and enjoy the feeling that I'm creating a knowledge resource that will be read and augmented by others, and persist over time. Perhaps I will add content that will inspire someone else and alter the course of their life as mine was altered long ago by that static encyclopedia. It almost feels like I'm giving back to the encyclopedia gods that led me to where I am today. Sure, wikipedia has issues, but I have seen it evolve and self-correct over time via community input, keeping up with our evolving state of knowledge in real time -- and it's available worldwide via the internet for free. Awesome.
Here are a few highlights of my contributions. This listing isn't necessarily current, so check here for what I've been up to.
I still consider myself to be cutting my teeth as a Wikipedia editor (though Wikipedia considers me established enough to edit some semi-protected pages, such as Barack Obama, which I have edited on occasion). Many of my Wikipedia contributions focus on my domains of expertise: Molecular and cellular biology — Bioinformatics — Genomics — Functional genomics — Genes
However, I have wide-ranging interests so you may find my edits outside these areas, in odd corners of Wikipedia.
Some pages I've created
Some pages I've contributed substantially to
Some notable content I've come across in my Wikipedia travels. This is completely random and non-exhaustive. May grow over time... or not.
Images of note
Pages of note
Users of note
Definitely not an exhaustive list here. There are tons of amazing Wikipedians out there. What follows is a teensy list of a few impressive folks I've just happened to catch my attention for one reason or another.