David Sankoff at "Models and Algorithms for Genome Evolution" in 2013, Bromont, Quebec.
|Alma mater||McGill University (BSc, MSc, PhD)|
|Thesis||Historical Linguistics as a Stochastic Process (1969)|
|Doctoral advisor||Donald Andrew Dawson|
David Sankoff (born December 31, 1942) is a Canadian mathematician, bioinformatician, computer scientist and linguist. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Genomics in the Mathematics and Statistics Department at the University of Ottawa, and is cross-appointed to the Biology Department and the School of Information Technology and Engineering. He was founding editor of the scientific journal Language Variation and Change (Cambridge) and serves on the editorial boards of a number of bioinformatics, computational biology and linguistics journals. Sankoff is best known for his pioneering contributions in computational linguistics and computational genomics. He is considered to be one of the founders of bioinformatics. In particular, he had a key role in introducing dynamic programming for sequence alignment and other problems in computational biology. In Pavel Pevzner's words, "[ Michael Waterman ] and David Sankoff are responsible for transforming bioinformatics from a ‘stamp collection' of ill-defined problems into a rigorous discipline with important biological applications."
Sankoff published his first paper in 1963 while he was an undergraduate student in Mathematics at McGill University. Starting with his doctoral research, he developed mathematical formulations to a number of pivotal concepts in socio- and historical linguistics, including glottochronology, variable rules analysis, the linguistic marketplace and code switching.
Career and research
After completing his Ph.D. in Mathematics, Sankoff began his academic career at the University of Montreal in 1969. In 1971, Sankoff became interested in molecular sequence comparison and devised the first quadratic-time variant of the Needleman-Wunsch algorithm for pairwise sequence alignment. In 1973, Sankoff and Robert Cedergren developed a joint estimation method for phylogeny and multiple sequence alignment of 5S ribosomal RNA, laying the algorithmic foundations of comparative genomics. In 1975, Sankoff and Václav Chvátal studied the behavior of the longest common subsequence problem on random inputs; the constants of proportionality arising in this study have come to be known as the Chvátal–Sankoff constants. In 1980, Robert Cedergen and David Sankoff created the first research group in bioinformatics at the University of Montreal. Sankoff's work in bioinformatics addresses RNA secondary structure, genome rearrangements, sequence alignment, genome evolution and phylogenetics.
Awards and honors
- Inaugural recipient of the International Society for Computational Biology's Senior Scientist Award in 2003.
- Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1995)
- Elected an ISCB Fellow by the International Society for Computational Biology in 2009
- Marcel-Vincent Prize (1977)
- Ontario Distinguished Researcher Award (2002)
- Weldon Memorial Prize (2004)
- University of Ottawa Excellence in Research Award (2013)
- Honorary doctorate, Tel Aviv University (2014)
- Anon (2017). "ISCB Fellows". iscb.org. International Society for Computational Biology. Archived from the original on 2017-03-20.
- Maisel, M. (2006). "ISCB Honors Michael S. Waterman and Mathieu Blanchette". PLOS Computational Biology. 2 (8): e105. Bibcode:2006PLSCB...2..105M. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.0020105. PMC 1526462.
- David Sankoff publications indexed by Google Scholar
- :Sankoff, David (2008). "How to Predict the Evolution of a Bilingual Community". In Meyerhoff, Miriam and Naomi Nagy (eds.), Social Lives in Language – Sociolinguistics and multilingual speech communities: Celebrating the work of Gillian Sankoff (pp. 179–194). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
- David Sankoff at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Sali, Tagliamonte (2015-11-02). Making waves : the story of variationist sociolinguistics. Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom. ISBN 9781118455166. OCLC 921307274.
- Sankoff, D. (2000). "The early introduction of dynamic programming into computational biology". Bioinformatics. 16 (1): 41–47. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/16.1.41. PMID 10812476.
- Friesen, J. D.; Sankoff, D.; Siminovitch, L. (1963). "Radiobiological Studies of Vaccinia Virus". Virology. 21 (3): 411–424. doi:10.1016/0042-6822(63)90203-4. PMID 14081366.
- Sankoff, David (1970). "On the rate of replacement of word-meaning relationships". Language. 46 (3): 564–569. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.667.3279. doi:10.2307/412307. JSTOR 412307.
- Cedergren, H. J.; D. Sankoff (1974). "Variable rules: performance as a statistical reflection of competence". Language. 50 (2): 333–355. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.665.3156. doi:10.2307/412441. JSTOR 412441.
- :Sankoff, D.; S. Laberge (1978). "The linguistic market and the statistical explanation of variability". In D. Sankoff (ed.), Linguistic Variation: Models and Methods (pp. 239-250). New York: Academic Press.
- Sankoff, David; Shana Poplack (1981). "A formal grammar for code switching". Papers in Linguistics. 14 (1): 3–46. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.667.3175. doi:10.1080/08351818109370523.
- Sankoff, D. (1972). "Matching sequences under deletion-insertion constraints". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 69 (1): 4–6. Bibcode:1972PNAS...69....4S. doi:10.1073/pnas.69.1.4. PMC 427531. PMID 4500555.
- Sankoff, D; C. Morel; R. J. Cedergren (1973). "Evolution of 5S RNA and the non-randomness of base replacement". Nature New Biology. 245 (147): 232–234. doi:10.1038/newbio245232a0. PMID 4201431.
- Chvatal, Václáv; Sankoff, David (1975), "Longest common subsequences of two random sequences", Journal of Applied Probability, 12 (2): 306–315, doi:10.2307/3212444, JSTOR 3212444, MR 0405531.
- "History of the Robert Cedergren Centre". Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- Anon (2003). "ISCB Senior Scientist Award to Sankoff". iscb.org/iscb-awards. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03.
- "David Sankoff - Excellence in Research Award". Retrieved 25 August 2013.