A Cambridge company helping to drive advances in the post genomics era is staging a key bioinformatics symposium in March. Eagle Genomics Limited has gathered an impressive list of speakers for the event, which is on Thursday, March 29 at Babraham Research Campus.Eagle Genomics is a bioinformatics services and software company specialising in the provision of genome content management and delivering open-source solutions. Now also on the cloud, it has fast become a thought leader in the segment.
The sequenced genomes of human and several other species have been with us for more than 10 years now since a Sanger Institute-led team mapped the Human Genome. But arguments remain about the best practices for storing and analysing the ever-increasing volume of associated data – the genome content management in which Eagle excels.
The process of storing and delivering genomic data and information started with the first genome browsers but has since spread into many areas of operational bioinformatics.
It is timely, therefore, that the future of bioinformatics goes under the microscope at Eagle’s second annual symposium, entitled: ‘The Next 10 Years of Genome Content Management.’
The keynote speaker has been confirmed as Tim Hubbard, head of informatics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The one-day symposium will hear from various experts from industry and academia on how they are applying the principles of genome content management to their own data sets. The focus will be on analysing and annotating large volumes of data to turn it into information – and presenting that information to the end user to enable hypotheses to be made and theories proposed.
As demonstrated by the success of last year’s inaugural event, the forum stimulates cross-sector understanding and collaborations that improve methods for delivery of bioinformatics across the board. An impressive line-up of speakers will cover a range of specialist but related topics.
Following Tim Hubbard’s keynote address, there will be contributions from:-
• Mario Caccamo, head of bioinformatics, TGAC – ‘A data warehouse approach for large genotype-by-sequencing datasets’
• Jonathan Green, head of bioinformatics, Health Protection Agency – ‘Exploiting whole genome sequencing for public health microbiology’
• Alex Gutteridge, head of bioinformatics, Pfizer – ‘Omics for cell therapies’
• Dan MacLean, head of bioinformatics, Sainsbury Laboratory – ‘Just enough developed infrastructure’
• Vitali Proutski, head of bioinformatics, Almac – ‘A toolbox for high throughput in-dept analysis of omics data’
• Ian Roberts, curator, National Collection of Yeast Cultures, Institute of Food Research – ‘Data delivery from yeast genomics to industrial biotechnology: problems and perspectives’
• Eric Simon, Boehringer Ingelheim – ‘Alignment of DNA microarray and NGS data for early drug discovery research’
• Mick Watson, ARK Genomics (Roslin Institute) – ‘Out of the shadows – the future of bioinformatics’
Dan MacLean, of the Sainsbury Laboratory – a small, independent research lab of approximately 80 researchers, which concentrates on plant/pathogen interactions with a focus on the genetics and genomics of a wide and frequently shifting line-up of organisms under study – gave a foretaste of his likely address at the symposium.
He said: “A large proportion of our projects are focused on a relatively modest goal, for example identifying resistance genes in a novel model, rather than producing a gold-standard annotated genome.
“Recently we have made the decision to abandon our own compute cluster in favour of merging with larger users ie TGAC in an ‘Access is more important than ownership model’.
“Similarly, we have found that many existing tools for genome sequence and feature annotation management, while great in their own way, can be too large and more difficult to manage than is useful for our projects and personnel profile. At the Eagle Genomics symposium in March, I’ll describe the sequencing pipelines and hardware that feed into our data store as background for the core of our management structure, our lightweight sequence and feature versioning tool, Gee Fu.
“Gee Fu interacts with our assembly and annotation pipelines from the command-line and from our Galaxy installation. It acts simultaneously as a store and annotation editor that has appropriate interfaces for users with a wide range of computing skills and can be used to share data externally via its RESTful interface and a web based front end.”
Eagle’s growing stature underlines the importance placed by industry players on its annual symposium – and highlights the role the company will continue to play in the post genomics era as the full potential of bioinformatics is exploited.
Big Pharma, crop science, animal health and biotech SMEs all feature among Eagle’s clients. The company’s service offering is a potent one. It augments its team of high calibre bioinformatics consultants with collaboration agreements with key open-source bioinformatics projects – allowing it access to cutting-edge research, data, and tools.
Open innovation is core to the Eagle philosophy and is perfectly suited to the company’s ‘Elastic Eagle’ flagship product, which offers total flexibility and a fully integrated working relationship.
For more information on Eagle Genomics and the March 29 symposium, please visit: www.eaglegenomics.com
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: The Eagle team has already grown since this picture was taken in December. In the frame are: L-R: Glenn Proctor, Will Spooner, Abel Ureta-Vidal, David Flanders (CEO), Richard Holland, Madhu Donepudi, Ivan Karabaliev, Nick James.