Lawrence Hunter

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Larry Hunter
Larry hunter computer scientist.jpg
Larry Hunter in 2002
Lawrence E. Hunter

(1961-01-18) January 18, 1961 (age 62)
Alma materYale University (PhD)
Known forIntelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB)
International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB)
AwardsISCB Fellow (2010)
Scientific career
FieldsComputational Biology
Artificial Intelligence
InstitutionsUniversity of Colorado School of Medicine
George Mason University
ThesisKnowledge acquisition planning: Gaining expertise through experience (1989)
Doctoral advisorRoger Schank[2]

Lawrence E. Hunter is a Professor and Director of the Center for Computational Pharmacology and of the Computational Bioscience Program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.[3] He is an internationally known scholar,[1][4] focused on computational biology, knowledge-driven extraction of information from the primary biomedical literature,[5] the semantic integration of knowledge resources in molecular biology, and the use of knowledge in the analysis of high-throughput data, as well as for his foundational work in computational biology, which led to the genesis of the major professional organization in the field and two international conferences.[6]


Hunter completed his PhD at Yale University in 1989 with a thesis on Knowledge Acquisition Planning: Gaining Expertise Through Experience, on diagnosis of lung cancer from histological images using Case-based reasoning,[7] under the guidance of Roger Schank.[2]

Career and research[edit]

Faced with a choice between careers in the main applications of artificial intelligence---game programming and defense work—Hunter chose an emerging new discipline, bioinformatics. From 1989 to 2000, Hunter worked as a computer scientist and section chief for National Institutes of Health sections devoted to statistical and bioinformatic research. He was an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University from 1991 through 2000[citation needed] and an associate professor in the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine from 2000 to 2008. He was promoted to professor in 2008.[8]


In 1997, Hunter founded what has become the largest professional organization in computational biology and bioinformatics, the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB).[9]


Hunter was also a founder of three successful international conferences in bioinformatics, the International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) and the Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing (PSB)[10] and the Rocky Mountain Bioinformatics Conference.[11] He is also a co-organizer of the biological visualization conference Vizbi.[12] Hunter cofounded and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Molecular Mining Corporation from 1997 to 2003.

Awards, honors and influence[edit]

Hunter is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics[citation needed][when?] and the winner of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 2003 Engelmore Prize for Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence.[citation needed]

Hunter is credited with being one of the founders of the field of bioinformatics.[citation needed] Throughout his career Hunter has researched and directed research groups investigating the development and application of advanced computational techniques for biomedicine to high-throughput assays, particularly the application of statistical and knowledge-based techniques, in particular bio-ontologies,[13] to the analysis of high-throughput data and of biomedical texts. He has proposed neurobiologically and evolutionarily informed computational models of cognition, and ethical issues related to computational bioscience. He has argued for expansion data science activities in biomedicine to include knowledge-based methods.[14]

He became an ISCB Fellow in 2010. Other awards and honors include Regent's Award for Scholarship and Technical Achievement 1994[citation needed] Meritorious Service Award, National Library of Medicine, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998[citation needed] Excellence in Research Award, University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Pharmacology, 2007[citation needed] Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, 2004.[citation needed]


Selected publications include:


  1. ^ a b Lawrence Hunter publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b Hunter, Lawrence E. (1989). Knowledge acquisition planning: Gaining expertise through experience (PhD thesis). Yale University. hdl:10079/bibid/9838922. OCLC 24116492. ProQuest 303852846.
  3. ^ "Lawrence Hunter, Ph.D." Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  4. ^ Lawrence Hunter at DBLP Bibliography Server Edit this at Wikidata
  5. ^ Hunter, L.; Cohen, K. B. (2006). "Biomedical Language Processing: What's Beyond PubMed?". Molecular Cell. 21 (5): 589–594. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2006.02.012. PMC 1702322. PMID 16507357.
  6. ^ "A pioneer with personality: Larry Hunter, founder of the International Society for Computational Biology". Bioinformatics World: 6. Autumn 2002.
  7. ^ Gibson, Todd A. (2012). "The Roots of Bioinformatics in ISMB". PLOS Computational Biology. 8 (8): e1002679. Bibcode:2012PLSCB...8E2679G. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002679. PMC 3431341. PMID 22952443.
  8. ^ a b Hunter, Lawrence (2009). The processes of life: an introduction to molecular biology. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-01305-5.
  9. ^ "Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology. Montreal, Quebec, Canada. June 28-July 1, 1998". Proceedings. International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology. 6: 1–223. 1998. PMID 9867411.
  10. ^ "Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology. ISMB-96". Proceedings. International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology. 4: 1–262. 1996. PMID 9005023.
  11. ^ "Rocky 09 - Welcome!". Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  12. ^ O'Donoghue, Sean. "VIZBI - Visualizing Biological Data". Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  13. ^ Livingston, Kevin M.; Bada, Michael; Baumgartner, William A.; Hunter, Lawrence E. (April 23, 2015). "KaBOB: ontology-based semantic integration of biomedical databases". BMC Bioinformatics. 16 (1): 126. doi:10.1186/s12859-015-0559-3. ISSN 1471-2105. PMC 4448321. PMID 25903923.
  14. ^ Hunter, Lawrence E. (2017). "Knowledge-based biomedical Data Science". EPJ Data Science. 1 (1–2): 19–25. doi:10.3233/DS-170001. ISSN 2193-1127. PMC 6171523. PMID 30294517.
  15. ^ Leake, David B.; Ram, Ashwin (1995). Goal-driven learning. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-18165-5.
Preceded by
President of the
International Society for Computational Biology

1997 – 2000
Succeeded by