EMBL-ABR network: an interview with Jason Williams

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EMBL-ABR network: an interview with Jason Williams

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The US National Cyberinfrastructure for Life Science (CyVerse) is a US National Science Foundation funded project supporting a community of more than 30,000 users at every level of bioinformatics experience (from little-to-no bioinformatics training to power user). As Education, Outreach and Training lead for CyVerse, Jason Williams spends a lot of time teaching wet-lab biologists to become data scientists. He was in Australia recently to run a CyVerse course for EMBL-ABR, so we followed up with an interview.

Jason says he wants nothing less than true interdisciplinarity: there needs to be a strong connection and mutual intelligibility between lab/field protocols and computational ones. Bioinformatics is life science and vice versa.

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EMBL-ABR network: an interview with Jac Charlesworth

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Tasmania has a small but vibrant bioinformatics community and one of its very active members is Dr Jac Charlesworth, who runs a computational genomics research group at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at UTAS. She also manages the computational infrastructure for genomics research at Menzies, and provides bioinformatics training and support.

Asked what she wants to see EMBL-ABR achieve, communication and training were top of her list, she replied: I think training with a decent level of basic communication and interaction is really important. It also stops you from getting too isolated, too stuck in your particular silo, making sure what you are doing is connected to the bigger picture or the bigger field.

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EMBL-ABR network: an interview with Marc Wilkins

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Another key person in bioinformatics in Australia who our Deputy Director Assoc Prof Vicky Schneider met with on her recent trip to three States was Prof Marc Wilkins in New South Wales.

Marc wants EMBL-ABR to raise the profile of bioinformatics in Australia, to help coordinate and facilitate activities and to share know-how. The more support we can provide for post-docs coming into this field of science, the more we can help them to establish their careers through building their personal networks and international networks, the more successful EMBL-ABR will be.

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EMBL-ABR Network: an interview with Mark Ragan

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On her recent visit to meet key bioinformaticians around the country, our Deputy Director Assoc Prof Vicky Schneider was keen to ask people what they thought some of the collective actions EMBL-ABR could take to support bioinformatics in Australia.

In Queensland, Prof Mark Ragan said he wants to see biology mature as a data science through a lot of training, agreed standards for data curation and exchange and, given the relentless pace of change in technologies, better front-end accessibility for researchers to computing resources, wherever they might be found.

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