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William Katz

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Bill works on the FlyEM team to improve segmentation, visualization, and data management of large electron microscopy image volumes.  After noting data management issues during early connectomics research at Janelia, he began to build DVID, a software system that allows image-oriented data to be:

  • distributed: researchers can push and pull data to remote collaborators in a manner similar to modern software version control systems.
  • versioned: data can be retrieved as it was at specific dates (e.g., publication in a journal).
  • stored in a variety of ways: back-end storage systems can be selected based on trade-offs in cost, performance, and storage capacity.


His interest in applying software to scientific problems started at Stanford as a coterm BS/MS student in biology and computer science. It continued through his MD/PhD training at Univ. of Virginia, where he became a founding member of a lab that created one of the first 3D neurosurgical planning systems. After a brief stint running the lab, Bill joined his mentor and a few colleagues to start a software company that was eventually acquired by Varian Medical Systems. Prior to Janelia, Bill was an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley and developed cardiovascular simulation and visualization software at Stanford's NIH Center for Biomedical Computation. He enjoys web development, movies, and writing award-winning fiction and screenplays.

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Ph.D., Biomedical Eng., University of Virginia
M.D., University of Virginia
B.S., Biological Sciences, Stanford University