Announcing the keynote speakers for the Bioinformatics Open Source Conference, BOSC 2015:
Dr Holly Bik is a Birmingham Fellow (assistant professor) in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham, UK. She obtained her Ph.D. in molecular phylogenetics at the University of Southampton, UK (working in conjunction with the Natural History Museum, London), followed by subsequent postdoctoral appointments at the Hubbard Center for Genome Studies at the University of New Hampshire and the UC Davis Genome Center.
Her research uses high-throughput environmental sequencing approaches (rRNA surveys, metagenomics) to explore biodiversity and biogeographic patterns in microbial eukaryote assemblages, with an emphasis on nematodes in marine sediments. Through active collaborations with computer scientists and participation in software development projects, her long-term research aims to address existing bottlenecks encountered in –Omic analyses focused on microbial eukaryotes.
Holly’s keynote talk topic is “Bioinformatics: Still a scary world for biologists”.
Many biological disciplines remain staunchly traditional, where high-throughput DNA sequencing and bioinformatics have not yet become widely adopted. In this talk, I’ll discuss the ongoing challenges and barriers facing biologists in the age of ‘Omics, based on my experiences in transitioning from nematode taxonomy to computational biology research.
Dr Ewan Birney is Joint Associate Director of EMBL-EBI, as well as Interim Head of the Centre for Therapeutic Target Validation. Together with Dr Rolf Apweiler, he has strategic responsibility and oversight for bioinformatics services at EMBL-EBI.
Ewan played a vital role in annotating the genome sequences of the human, mouse, chicken and several other organisms; this work has had a profound impact on our understanding of genomic biology. He led the analysis group for the ENCODE project, which is defining functional elements in the human genome. He was also one of the leaders of the BioPerl project. Ewan’s main areas of research include functional genomics, assembly algorithms, statistical methods to analyse genomic information (in particular information associated with individual differences) and compression of sequence information.
He has received a number of prestigious awards including the 2003 Francis Crick Award from the Royal Society, the 2005 Overton Prize from the International Society for Computational Biology and the 2005 Benjamin Franklin Award for contributions in Open Source Bioinformatics. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014.
Ewan was a cofounder of the Open Bioinformatics Foundation, the organization that sponsors BOSC, and has been involved in BOSC since the first conference in 2000. He chaired the meeting in 2001, and gave one of the keynote talks in 2002. We are delighted to have him back as a keynote speaker for 2015.
Ewan’s talk topic will be announced soon.