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avatar for John Wilbanks

John Wilbanks

Sage Bionetworks
Chief Commons Officer

John Wilbanks grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. He attended Tulane University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1994. He also studied modern letters at the Sorbonne in Paris.

From 1994 to 1997, he worked in Washington, DC as a legislative aide to Congressman Fortney "Pete" Stark. During this time Wilbanks was also a grassroots coordinator and fundraiser for the American Physical Therapy Association. John was the Berkman Center for Internet & Society's first Assistant Director from the fall of 1998 to the summer of 2000. There he led efforts in software development and Internet-mediated learning, and was involved in the Berkman Center's work on ICANN.

While at the Berkman Center, Wilbanks founded Incellico, Inc., a bioinformatics company that built semantic graph networks for use in pharmaceutical research and development. He served as President and CEO, and led to the company's acquisition in the summer of 2003. He has also served as a Fellow at the World Wide Web Consortium on Semantic Web for Life Sciences, was a Visiting Scientist in the Project on Mathematics and Computation at MIT, and was a member of the National Advisory Committee for PubMed Central. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Sage Bionetworks and on the advisory boards of Genomera, Genomic Arts, and Boundless Learning. He is an original author of the Panton Principles for sharing data.

Wilbanks led a We the People petition supporting the free access of taxpayer-funded research data, which gained over 65,000 signatures. In February 2013, the White House responded, detailing a plan to freely publicize taxpayer-funded research data.

(From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wilbanks