Bioinformatics Activities

History of Bioinformatics Development Team
We are a small but dedicated group of historians of science:

Tim Lenoir is professor of history and chair of the Program in History and Philosophy of Science at Stanford University. He is the author of The Strategy of Life: Teleology and Mechanics in Nineteenth Century German Biology, Dordrecht and Boston: D. Reidel, 1982; paperback edition by the University of Chicago Press, 1989, which examines the development of non-Darwinian theories of evolution, particularly in the German context during the nineteenth century. His other books include: Politik im Tempel der Wissenschaft: Forschung und Machtaus├╝bung im deutschen Kaiserreich, Frankfurt/Main: Campus Verlag, 1992; Instituting Science: The Cultural Production of Scientific Disciplines, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997, a volume which examines the formation of disciplines and the role of public institutions in the construction of scientific knowledge; an edited volume, Inscribing Science: Scientific Texts and the Materiality of Communication, appeared in spring 1998 from Stanford Press. For the last several years Lenoir has been engaged in investigations of the introduction of computers into biomedical research from the early 1960s through the 1990s, particularly the development of computer graphics, medical visualization technology, the development of virtual reality and its application in surgery. With funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Lenoir constructed a project on the history of human computer interaction which used the web to engage engineers and scientists in documenting the history of their own work. Lenoir has been a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and twice a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin.

Casey Alt received his BA from Stanford in 1999, where he majored in Human Biology with a minor in Studio Art. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science at Stanford, focusing on the history of computational biology and electronic media. He has one article in press, entitled, "Flow, Process, Fold: Intersections in Bioinformatics and Contemporary Architecture," which examines the role of computational hardware and metaphors of information flow in the works of Peter Eisenman, Neil Denari, Greg Lynn. Casey has been primarily responsible for the design of the History of Bioinformatics site.


Gabriella Janni received her B.A. from Georgetown University in 1997 and her MA from UC Berkeley in German Literature and Culture before joining the Ph.D. program in History and Philosophy of Science at Stanford. For the past two years Janni has also worked in neurobiology. Her research focuses on the use of lab-created compound molecules, toxins and animals in which specific genes have been removed in order to study the specific function of populations of cells and areas in the brain. For her Ph.D. thesis she is working on the relation between techniques for modeling brain function and theories of mind in late twentieth century neuroscience.


Zach Pogue is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering from Stanford's Biomedical Information Technology at Stanford (BITS) department. He works as a webmaster/designer and is currently designing Stanford’s ASSU web site. Several of his web sites for Stanford University include the web site for the MIT/Stanford Venture Laboratory ( and Hillel at Stanford (