I am a stats geek currently working as a number cruncher at the University of Portsmouth, where I am in the process of setting up a Bioinformatics Group. I spend a lot of my time trying to figure out how to describe exactly what it is that a bioinformatician actually does.
I also like to run a lot, and spend far too much of my spare time examining running data. I set up this blog to keep track of some of the analyses that I have looked at in the past, and also to play with various new analysis techniques that seem like they may be useful to me in the future. Hopefully this may be of use to someone down the line
After completing a BSc in Mathematics at the University of Warwick, I joined the MOAC (Molecular Organisation and Assembly in Cells) MSc program. The aim of this novel Doctoral Training Center was to take scientists from a broad range of backgrounds and train them as multi-disciplinary scientists able to work at the interface between life-sciences. I focused my expertise on bioinformatics, utilising programmatic and statistical techniques to answer biological problems, and achieved a PhD in Mathematical Biology and Biophysical Chemistry. My PhD project focussed on novel analysis algorithms for the analysis of microarray data for expression profiling of cancers in multiple tissues.
Following this, I began my first postdoctoral position at the Sanger Insitute in Cambridge, working with Dr. Matthew Hurles as a key analyst for the Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium copy-number variation genome-wide association study. Our aim was to compare the genetic variation between healthy DNA samples and those of people with one of 8 common diseases (including diabetes and breast cancer) to understand the role of copy number variation (e.g. deletions or duplications of sections of DNA) in disease.
I the worked as a lab bioinformatician in the Kouzarides Lab at the Gurdon Institute at the University of Cambridge. In particular, my expertise lay in the managing, processing and analysis of high-throughput sequencing data, with the aim of understanding the role of histone and RNA modifications in cancer. We used a variety of sequencing techniques in our analyses (ChIP seq, RNA seq, ChIRP seq, Bisulfite seq, CLIP seq, etc) and worked at the cutting edge of the field.
In May 2017 I took up a new post at the University of Portsmouth as a Senior Research Fellow, where I am head of the Bioinformatics Group. I collaborate with researchers from across the University and external institutions, as well as maintaining own research projects.
If you are at all interested in running, I also have a less statsy, more runsy blog at constantforwardmotion.blogspot.co.uk. My running career has been variously described as “crazy”, “ludicrous” and “ill advised” (mostly by my wife), but I have some fun out there running in some of the more ridiculous races around the world.