White House recognizes Butte, Endy as open science Champions of Change

- By Margarita Gallardo

Atul Butte

Two Stanford faculty members have been named Champions of Change for "promoting and using open scientific data and publications to accelerate progress and improve our world," according to a statement from the White House.

Atul Butte, MD, PhD, chief of systems medicine and associate professor of pediatrics and of genetics, and Drew Endy, PhD, assistant professor of bioengineering, were among the 13 entrepreneurs, academics and researchers honored June 20 at the White House. They were chosen for making an impact across disciplines — from archaeology and the humanities to astronomy and biomedical research — and for helping make "open" the default in scientific research.

"We in Stanford Medicine are honored that Atul Butte and Drew Endy have been recognized among President Obama's Champions of Change," said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. "Professors Butte and Endy are driving scientific progress not just through their innovative ideas but through their innovative approaches to sharing these ideas broadly."

Drew Endy

Butte's lab builds and uses computational tools that convert more than 400 trillion points of molecular, clinical and epidemiological data into diagnostics, therapeutics and new insights into disease. He has created new diagnostics and drugs for diabetes and cancers, and stewarded the public release of immunology data from the National Institutes of Health.

Endy is a leader in the field of synthetic biology. He is also co-founder and president of BioBricks.org, a charity advancing biotechnology. The organization has underwritten an open technical-standards-setting process for synthetic biology, and recently developed a legal contract for making genetic materials free to share and use. His group encourages researchers to work together in growing a public domain "operating system" for engineering biology.

The Champions of Change program was created as part of President Barack Obama's Winning the Future initiative. The program highlights individuals, businesses and organizations whose accomplishments positively impact communities.

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit med.stanford.edu.

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