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Speaker

Darrell Ricke
Darrell Ricke spends most of his time developing new bioinformatics algorithms/software and discovering genes in multiple genomes. A sample of some of his work is presented for the rice genome in Science, Vol. 296, 5 April 2002. Previously, he worked on the human genome project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Center for Human Genome Studies.

What drew Ricke to bioinformatics? "As a computer scientist, I believe that to be able to solve a problem, I must understand it first. When I became interested in the Human Genome Project, I went back to college to study genetics and molecular biology. My hope was to be able to someday discover the gene for a human disease. While I was at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Center for Human Genome Studies (LANL CHGS), I correctly identified the gene for Familial Mediterranean Fever [Cell 90:797-807, 1997] from fragments of two exons analyzed with a novel bioinformatics tool that I had developed (SCAN). SCAN is useful for high throughput sequence analysis and annotation. SCAN integrates the similarity results from BLASTN, TBLASTN, TBLASTX, and FASTA with gene prediction results from GRAIL. I used it to annotate 12 finished megabases of the human genome at LANL. In addition to my interests in bioinformatics and gene discovery, I am personally interested in the basics of which missense mutations are deleterious in human diseases [Hum. Mutat. 7:202-13, 1996].

"Bioinformatics is a very young field. While many basic bioinformatics applications exist, a lot of the needs of scientists are still unmet. New solutions that include data integration and integration of analysis and visualization interfaces are needed. The development of integrated bioinformatics data warehouses and associated N-tier software will be an important focus area for the next five years. New techniques are enabling the high throughput capture and integration of genomic, expression, proteomic, and metabolomic data from biological samples. These techniques will enable systems biology and systems modeling to become reality."

 


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