Andrew Doxey wins first Science Excellence in Early Career Research Award

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Andrew Doxey.The Faculty of Science is pleased to announce Assistant Professor Andrew Doxey as the first recipient of the Science Excellence in Early Career Research Award (SEECRA).

“We are extremely lucky to have a faculty member and colleague such as Andrew who is passionate about what he does and is able to make such wide-reaching contributions to his field so early in his career,” says Prof. Hugh Broders, Chair of the Department of Biology.

The annual award, established this year by the Faculty of Science and adjudicated by the Science Research Fellows, recognizes a tenure-track researcher in their second probationary term who stands out as most exceptional in terms of scholarship.

“The field of candidates was extremely strong, but the number and variety of breakthrough publications that Andrew has already spearheaded at this stage of his career is truly astounding,” says Associate Dean of Research Bernie Duncker, who chaired the SEECRA deliberations.

Doxey, a professor in the Department of Biology, specializes in the field of bioinformatics, which uses computational methods to look for patterns in genomic sequences. The approach has enabled him and his collaborators to generate new insights in a wide range of areas, including discovering new sources of vitamin B12, mapping the genetic basis of height in humans, tracing the evolutionary origins of bacterial toxins, and discovering new organisms with capabilities never seen before.

“Genomes are the computer codes for life. Most of this code is uncharacterized and so there is enormous potential for biological discovery,” says Doxey, who is also cross-appointed to Waterloo’s Cheriton School of Computer Science. “What we need are biologists, computer scientists, physicists and statisticians all talking to each other, and I believe that the most valuable thing that I do is facilitate these types of interactions.”

Since joining the University of Waterloo as a faculty member in October 2012, he’s published 24 articles in high-profile journals such as Nature Communications, Nature Genetics, eLife and Cell Host & Microbe. His work has also been covered by the popular media this past year, with articles in the New York Times and Nature News and Views.

Doxey will receive a certificate and a monetary award, which is to be used in support of research activities. His name will also be added to a new plaque in the Dean of Science area.