Professor Des Higgins joined UCD in 2003. Hehas an international reputation in bioinformatics as an innovator, a leader, and a practical provider of working solutions to key problems. Since 2007, Higgins has been cited over 94,000 times, and has 10 papers with over 1,000 citations. This includes his famous CLUSTAL paper, which is the 10th most cited paper of all time. His research interests include developing multiple sequence alignment, and multivariate analysis of genomics related data. . Recent highlights include his finding that very large multiple alignments of many sequences may be accelerated by use of simpler guide trees (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2014). These findings are relevant to making sense of the very large sequence datasets emerging from high throughput modern sequencing methods.
Professor Ken Wolfe joined UCD in 2013. He is a world-leading expert in the field of molecular evolution. In particular he has advanced the field of fungal molecular genetics through his research. This includes revealing the origin of many genes in brewer’s yeast from an ancient genome duplication, and the discovery (Eukaryotic Cell 2009) that many fungal genomes harbour genes captured from viruses. He is a holder of a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant award on the subject of ‘Programmed and unprogrammed genomic rearrangements during the evolution of yeast species’.
Professor Denis Shields joined UCD in 2005. He established the Irish Research Council funded Bioinformatics and Systems Biology PhD Programme, and is Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust Computational Infection Biology PhD programme. He works on the computational discovery of bioactive peptides modulating protein-protein interactions. He is also interested in genetic epidemiology, in particular of synergistic combination effects. He also studies peptides in complex mixtures of food hydrolysates, as part of Food Health Ireland.
Dr Peadar O’Gaora joined UCD in 2004. He combines a background in microbiology and pathogen molecular biology with bioinformatics expertise. He is a participant in the Wellcome Trust Computational Infection Biology PhD programme. His research interests focus on high throughput genomics and transcriptomics data analysis in many fields including microbial pathogen genomics and gene expression in cancer progression.
Dr Gianluca Pollastri joined UCD in 2003. He is a leading expert in the application of machine learning to predict protein secondary structure. His particular expertise is in bidirectional recursive neural networks, which are particularly well suited to sequence analysis.
Dr Catherine Mooney joined UCD School of Computer Science as Assistant Professor in 2016. She has created a distinct niche in the biomarker field tackling important challenges including how to combine cutting-edge computational and biomedical techniques to efficiently integrate multiple data types into a single biomarker. In 2013 she completed a four-year postdoctoral research fellowship in clinical bioinformatics with Prof Denis Shields where she developed web servers for short linear motif and peptide property prediction (bioware.ucd.ie). (more)