The Luscombe Lab
Laboratory of Computational Biology

Intel-Crick workshop underway

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The Intel-Crick workshop “Computational challenges and performance optimizations in NGS data analyses” starts today! It’s taken a lot of conference calls to pull it together and I think we have put together a very interesting and exciting program.


A lot of thanks go to Robert Maskell, Kristina Kermanschahche and Clay Breshears from Intel; Gabriella Rustici (Brazma Group, EBI), Robert Sugar and Kathi Zarnack from the Luscombe lab for all their hard work.

Garth's paper published in eLife

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Garth is a staff scientist in our Okinawa laboratory, and he has just published a paper modelling gene expression in the developing fly embryo. It is accompanied by a Preview by Mike Levine.

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He applied a logistic regression model that reproduces eve expression very accurately; in fact the models work so well that they even predict perturbations such as regulator knockouts and mis-expression. The image shows the predicted expression of eve 2 in (a) wild-type and (b) gt mutant embryos.

This is the result of several long-standing collaborations, particularly Angela DePace. Congratulations to Garth on this elegant paper!


New from Aswin

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Aswin Sehsasayee is a former PhD student who now runs his own research group at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore India. He has just been elected as an Associate of the Indian Academy of Sciences, an honour awarded to a few scientists under the age of 35. Congratulations to Aswin!


Intel-Crick NGS workshop

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We’re organising a joint hands-on workshop with Intel to look at how to perform NGS data analyses more efficiently. Do come along! It’s free!

Next-generation sequencing datasets are continuing to increase in size, and even small genomic projects now generate terabytes of data. The sheer scale of these datasets now poses a great computational challenge: how can we improve software pipelines to analyse data more efficiently?

Designed jointly by Intel and the Francis Crick Institute, this workshop will tackle some of these challenges and train participants in the principles and practicalities of optimizing NGS analysis pipelines.

In Heidelberg

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Nick will be at the Heidelberg Forum for Young Scientists this week. It is a meeting run by graduate students from universities and institutes in Heidelberg. These events are often a lot of fun (though a lot of work for the students!) and they’ve done a great job organising this meeting. Looking forward to meeting some fun, interesting people!

Welcome to Anna!

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Anna Poetsch is another new postdoc in our lab. She just completed her PhD at the DKFZ in Germany and she is starting some collaborations on DNA damage repair. Here is her 60 second interview.

Welcome. What were you doing before you joined the LRI?
I was doing my PhD at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.

What does your role at the LRI involve and what do you most enjoy about your role?
I am doing a postdoc in computational biology. For me this is very exciting because I am wet lab trained and I am really enjoying the challenge to do something new.

What has it been like working at the LRI so far?
Great, I am really enjoying the change it brought to my life. My colleagues are very helpful and make this transition quite easy for me. London is a very exciting place and I especially enjoy the museums and concerts here.

If you weren't in science, what would you be and why?
I guess I would do something with my hands. Maybe creating something that tastes nice…. chocolatier!

Tell us something your colleagues don't know about you?
So far I successfully prevented everybody from noticing that I am easily startled. The noise I make then can be quite amusing…

What hobbies do you have outside of work?
What do you mean? My work is my hobby! (And another one is being ironic!)

If you could meet one person from history, who would it be and why?
I would like to meet god at the time of creation and would try to convince him about some adjustments.

What's your favourite part of the world and why?
I cannot name a particular place. Nice people, delicious food, warm weather and chocolate. If a place provides all these, I usually like it.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Unfortunately I did not listen….

Home is…
Ask me again, when I have been here for a while.

Nick elected to EMBO

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I received the wonderful news yesterday that I had been elected as an EMBO Member. Every year, ~50 life scientists are elected from Europe and the rest of the world. This is a fantastic recognition of everyone’s hard work, and I’d like to congratulate past and present members of the laboratory for this achievement.

Now onto the next project!


Pint of Science event!

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Tonight Alessandra and I are presenting our work at the Pint of Science! This is a new science festival for scientists to talk about their work in the relaxed setting of a pub. 75 scientists will talk with more than 3000 people over three nights. Our topic is personal genomics, something that we’re hoping to work in the near future!



Last 10 days for biostatistics postdoc!

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Applications for the Biostatistics Postdoc position closes on 31 April 2013! Please apply through the Cancer Research UK Careers Page.

You can find more information about the position on the jobs page, but feel free to mail me if you have specific questions.


Welcome to Elodie!

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Elodie Darbo is a new postdoc in our lab. She just completed her PhD in Marseille and she’ll be working with on HiC studies. Here is her 60 second interview.

Welcome. What were you doing before you joined the LRI?
I made a 10 months postdoc in Technological Advances in Genomics Clinics (TAGC) lab in Marseille.

What does your role at the LRI involve and what do you most enjoy about your role?
I was recruited as a postdoc at the LRI last February to study DNA/DNA contact at a genomic scale. I think I am entering a very exciting field and I can find here all what I need to perform the best research.

What has it been like working at the LRI so far?
I found here a really friendly atmosphere. I enjoy, every morning, to join the lab as I know I will have really riveting interactions within the team and also have some opportunities to follow interesting seminars. LRI has a really good scientific environment.

If you weren't in science, what would you be and why?
I guess I would study art and become a designer or a painter (depending on my talent ...).

Tell us something your colleagues don't know about you?
I know all episodes of Columbo by heart.

What hobbies do you have outside of work?
Eating.

If you could meet one person from history, who would it be and why?
Salvador Dali to watch him painting for hours.

What's your favourite part of the world and why?
The Atlantic cost in the south-West of France, with its infinite breathtaking beaches and pine woods. When you are at the top of a sand dune, you can enjoy the most beautiful sunset I ever seen, the colours are always incredible and I am, of course, totally objective.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
"Be water, my friend." [Bruce Lee]

Home is…
Mont de Marsan

Who are we?