GENETICS is pleased to announce six new editors for the Computational Resources, Software, & Databases section of the journal: Anastasia Baryshnikova, Judith Blake, Michael Brent, Todd Harris, Marian Walhout, and Valerie Wood.
Anastasia is a Principal Investigator at Calico Life Sciences LLC, an Alphabet-founded research and development company focused on understanding the biology of aging and age-associated diseases. Anastasia and her team work on deconvoluting the genetic networks that control core biological functions and resilience to perturbations. Her ultimate goal is to understand functional decline in aging organisms and devise interventions to delay it. Prior to Calico, Anastasia was a Principal Investigator and Lewis-Sigler Fellow at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University.
Judith Blake is a Professor at the Jackson Laboratory where she works in the area of functional and comparative genetics and genomics. She received a BA in Biology from the University of Connecticut and a PhD in Biology from Harvard University, working on the evolution and genetics of speciation. After working at the Laboratory of Molecular Systematics at the Smithsonian Institution, she moved to The Institute of Genomic Research (TIGR) during the early days of the Human Genome Project where she participated in the sequencing and annotation of the first fully sequenced genomes. She came to the Jackson Laboratory to join the Mouse Genome Database project where she focused on the acquisition and integration of heterogeneous data for the laboratory mouse. Soon thereafter, she joined with others in the founding the Gene Ontology (GO) Consortium, a project that has transformed the use of biomedical ontologies for genetics and genomics research. Her work focuses on the continued development of the GO resources as well as on the comprehensive gathering and management of biological data particularly as related to the use of model organisms for the study of human biology and disease.
Michael Brent is a Professor of Computer Science and Genetics at Washington University. His passion is understanding how cells process new information and coordinate transcriptional responses to it. His lab developes methods for mapping transcription factor (TF) networks and modeling how information propagates through them to influence transcriptional state. He collaborates on applying these methods to yeast and to the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans, as well as on genetic studies of Cryptococcus and humans. Dr. Brent earned a BS in mathematics at MIT and a PhD in computer science at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He then served as Assistant and Associate Professor of Cognitive Science at the Johns Hopkins University. After moving to Washington University 1999, he nurtured a longstanding interest in molecular biology. He participated in the annotation of the initial genome sequences of the mouse, rat, chicken, Caenorhabditis briggsae, and C. neoformans. Since 2008, he has focused on mapping and modeling transcriptional regulation networks.
After receiving a PhD on the genetics of nervous system function in C. elegans, Dr. Harris transitioned to the nascent field of bioinformatics. For more than 20 years, he has worked as the lead developer and project manager of WormBase, the online resource for C. elegans biology. His current interests reside at the intersection of bioinformatics, cloud computing, biological databases, and scientific publishing. In addition to his work at WormBase, Todd is the Chief Technology Officer of microPublication.org, a team leader at the Alliance of Genome Resources project, and a keen advocate of open source and open data. Dr. Harris holds a PhD from the University of Utah and completed postdoctoral training with Dr. Lincoln Stein at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Marian Walhout’s lab in the Program in Systems Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA, combines experimental and computational approaches to understand: (1) how metabolic networks regulate gene expression and how gene regulatory networks control metabolism; and (2) how nutrients and microbes can affect host phenotypes and drug responses. Most studies in her lab use the nematode C. elegans and its bacterial diet as a model system. Approaches used include forward and reverse genetic screens both in the worm and in its bacterial diet, metabolic network reconstruction and flux balance analysis, gene regulatory network mapping, RNA-seq, and metabolomics. Results are used to obtain broad, system-level insights that inform experiments leading to detailed, mechanistic understanding of gene regulation, metabolism and physiology in response to a variety of conditions, including therapeutic drugs.
Valerie Wood is a biocurator, bioinformatician and Co-PI of the PomBase model organism database in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge. She received a BSc in biochemistry and molecular biology, and MSc in bioinformatics and a DSc in biocuration and genome analysis from the University of Manchester. Valerie is interested in the semantic standardisation and integration of gene specific experimental data using bio-ontologies, quality control of biocuration, the identification and exploration of unstudied protein datasets, and the automation of biological pathway creation from curated data. She received the International Society of Biocuration 2019 Exceptional Contributions to Biocuration Award.