Dr. Faraz Hach Receives Governor General's Gold Medal

June 09, 2014

Dr. Faraz Hach came to SFU from Iran in 2004 for his master’s degree in Computing and was promptly recruited to do his PhD here as well.

While completing his degrees, he became the main architect on mrsFAST, a world-renowned genetic sequence mapping tool that has put him at the forefront of the big data revolution currently taking place in the biomedical sciences.

He then went on to become the main developer of SCALCE, SFU's newest genome sequence compression tool. His newest tool under development is called DeeZ, a compression tool for already-mapped genomic reads. This innovation is now under review at Nature Methods.

Dr. Hach's past accomplishments also include receiving the ISMB Ian Lawson Von Toch Memorial Award for Outstanding Student paper in 2012. He and a fellow student from the Lab for Computational Biology were co-lead authors of the paper "Dissect."  The annual Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) conference brings together more than 1500 computational biology researchers every year.

Dr. Hach has also served as a peer reviewer for several conferences and journals. These includes RECOMB, ISMB, APBC, OUP bioinformatics and BMC bioinformatics.

He attributes his supervisor with a significant role in his chosen path, saying, "I am grateful to have Dr. Sahinalp as my mentor. His endless support has been instrumental in shaping my academic career". He adds, "I had the pleasure of collaborating with many talented graduate students in the Lab for Computational Biology."

Dr. Hach's important innovations have also led to a postdoctoral appointment between SFU and the Vancouver Prostate Centre where he is developing new computational tools to analyze prostate cancer sequencing data. He has also been collaborating with the School of Medicine at Indiana University, which is developing a pipeline to detect micro inversions in breast cancer data.

On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Hach on his outstanding achievements which are being recognized with the award of the Canadian Governor General's Gold Medal as SFU's most outstanding graduate student in Engineering/Medical Sciences/Natural Sciences.

See also: All 2014 Convocation Award Winners

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