Ruth Nussinov

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Ruth Nussinov
Ruth Nussinov.png
Residence Israel
Alma mater Rutgers University
Known for Nucleic acid structure prediction, PLoS Computational Biology, Nussinov plots, Equilibrium unfolding, Protein–protein interaction prediction
Scientific career
Fields Bioinformatics
Institutions Tel Aviv University, Weizmann Institute, Berkeley, Harvard
Thesis Secondary structure analysis of nucleic acids (1977)

Ruth Nussinov (Hebrew: פרופסור רות נוסינוב) is a Professor in the Department of Human Genetics, School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and is the Senior Principal Scientist and Principal Investigator at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.[1] Nussinov is also the Editor in Chief for the journal PLOS Computational Biology.[2]

Nussinov proposed the first dynamic programming approach for nucleic acid secondary structure prediction, this method is now known as the "Nussinov Algorithm".[3][4]


Ruth Nussinov received her B.Sc in Microbiology from University of Washington in 1966, her M.Sc in Biochemistry from Rutgers University in 1967 and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Rutgers in 1977. Her thesis was titled Secondary structure analysis of nucleic acids.[5] She was a fellow at the Weizmann Institute and worked as a visiting scientist at Berkeley and at Harvard. She took a position at Tel Aviv University in 1985 as Associate Professor and was promoted to Professor in 1990.[2]

Besides her work on nucleic acid secondary structure prediction, Nussinov is also regarded as a pioneer in DNA sequence analysis for her work in the early 1980s.[2]

Nussinov has authored over 500 scientific papers and is the Editor in Chief of the journal PLOS Computational Biology.[2] She also serves on the editorial boards of the journals Physical Biology, Proteins, BMC Bioinformatics and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.[6][7][8][9]


Nussinov was made a Fellow of the Biophysical Society in 2011, for her "extraordinary contributions to advances in computational biology on both nucleic acids and proteins".[10] She became a Fellow of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) in 2013.[11] In 2018, Nussinov was awarded the ISCB Senior Scientist Award.[12]


  1. ^ "Tel Aviv University Staff Page". Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "PLOS Computational Biology Editors-in-Chief". Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Nussinov, Ruth; Pieczenik, George; Griggs, Jerrold R.; Kleitman, Daniel J. (1 July 1978). "Algorithms for Loop Matchings". SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics. 35 (1): 68–82. doi:10.1137/0135006. 
  4. ^ Nussinov, R; Jacobson, AB (Nov 1980). "Fast algorithm for predicting the secondary structure of single-stranded RNA". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 77 (11): 6309–6313. doi:10.1073/pnas.77.11.6309. PMC 350273Freely accessible. PMID 6161375. 
  5. ^ "Ruth Nussinov - Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Editorial Board - Physical Biology - IOPscience". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics - Editorial Board - Wiley Online Library". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "BMC Bioinformatics - Editorial Board". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "jbc Editorial Board". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "2011 Society Fellows Press Release" (PDF). Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  11. ^ Fogg, Christiana N.; Kovats, Diane E. (22 August 2013). "International Society for Computational Biology Welcomes Its Newest Class of Fellows". PLoS Computational Biology. 9 (8): e1003199. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003199. PMC 3749946Freely accessible. PMID 23990772. 
  12. ^ "February 14, 2018: ISCB Congratulates the 2018 ISCB Award Winners!". Retrieved 15 February 2018.