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Why do we do Bioinformatics ? Hugh Shanahan, Department of Computer Science, Royal Holloway, University of London FAFU, Fuzhou, Fujian 4 Sep 2012 This talk is available at http://gene.cs.rhul.ac.uk/CCC12/Lectures/bioinformatics .ppt

Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

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Why do we do Bioinformatics ?. Hugh Shanahan, Department of Computer Science, Royal Holloway, University of London. FAFU, Fuzhou, Fujian 4 Sep 2012. This talk is available at http://gene.cs.rhul.ac.uk/CCC12/Lectures/bioinformatics.ppt. Summary. Who am I ? Impact of Bioinformatics - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Page 1: Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Hugh Shanahan,Department of Computer Science,Royal Holloway,University of London

FAFU, Fuzhou, Fujian

4 Sep 2012

This talk is available at http://gene.cs.rhul.ac.uk/CCC12/Lectures/bioinformatics.ppt

Page 2: Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Summary

• Who am I ?

• Impact of Bioinformatics

• Lessons learnt

• Being a professional Bioinformatician

• Question time

Page 3: Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Summary

• Background in High Energy (Particle) Physics

• In 2000 moved into Bioinformatics at UCL/EBI

• Worked on Protein Structures - identifying evolution of hydrophobic patches

• Identifying DNA-binding proteins from structure alone

• In 2005 started lectureship at Computer Science at Royal Holloway

• Working on transcriptomics - Plant Science and Human Data

Page 4: Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Big Picture

• Best estimate by the end of century human population will plateau at 10 Billion.

• Some countries will face an increasingly older demographic (some will still be very young).

• Climate change is a reality - Permanent Artic ice cap could be gone in FOUR years.

• We live longer and have healthier lives than our parents/grandparents/....

• Large disparities between different populations

• Human migration occurs on a huge scale

Page 5: Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Challenges from the big picture

• Need to feed more people with a better diet - 3-fold improvement of yield for crops.

• Need to ensure that everybody stays happy with an older demographic - healthier for longer

• Need to ensure this happens across the world (otherwise the world comes to your doorstep)

• Need to do this with a much more variable weather systems/reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Page 6: Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Bioinformatics in this big picture

• Need major steps forward in

• Plant Science

• Crop yield

• Crops in poor environments

• Biofuels

• Medicine

Page 7: Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Omic data -

• Biologists/Biomedical Scientists generate this data and more

• Genomic

• Transcriptomic

• Metabolomic

• Proteomic

• ...

Page 8: Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Omic data - Where you fit in

• Biologists and Biomedical Scientists generate this data.

• They are not capable of making the most of this data.

• That is your job.

• You will guide and help them to learn from that data.

• This will ultimately feed back into the challenges discussed above.

Page 9: Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Lesson learnt

• Data is always more important than algorithms.

• Algorithms are always more important than conjecture.

• The best computational biology algorithms use evolution.

• Understand evolution.

• Most of the time you have to deal with reading in data so think hard about the best way of storing data.

Page 10: Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Being a professional

• Two modes of research

• work with other Bioinformaticians and publicly available data

• work with wet lab scientists and their pre-published data

• The second mode means you need to think like a professional

Page 11: Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Responsibilities to wet lab Scientists

• Point out if there are problems with the data.

• Do everything that can be done with the data.

• Do not promise miracles.

• Encourage them to make the data available after publication(s).

Page 12: Why do we do Bioinformatics ?

Thank you for your time !

Please ask questions !