NIAID Program
The Broad Institute
J. Craig Venter Institute


801 W. Baltimore St.

BioPark II, 6th Floor

Baltimore, MD, 21202



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Claire M. Fraser, Principal Investigator, GSCID

In May 2007, Claire Fraser became Director of the new Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and joined the faculty as Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology.

Claire has been in the forefront of the genomics revolution, and her work has laid the experimental and computational foundations for understanding the adaptive evolutions of microbes to natural environmental ecosystems. Her stature in the scientific community is supported by the fact that she has been the most highly cited investigator in the field of microbiology for the past 12 years, with a total of almost 25,000 citations to her published work.

She is an expert in the new fields of microbial forensics and metagenomics, particularly the metagenomics of the human gastrointestinal tract. She and her team helped the FBI correctly identify the source of anthrax spores in their Amerithrax investigation.

She received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and her contributions to the fields of genomics and microbiology have been acknowledged by many agencies and professional societies. Her list of awards include the E.O. Lawrence Award, the highest honor bestowed on research scientists by the Department of Energy, the Promega Biotechnology Award from the American Society of Microbiology, and the Charles Thom Award from the Society for Industrial Microbiology. She has served on many advisory panels for all of the major Federal funding agencies, the National Research Council, the Department of Defense, and the intelligence community, including committees on counter-bioterrorism, domestic animal genomics, polar biology and metagenomics.

As the Administrative Director and Principal Investigator for the GSCID, Claire will consult on the design and conduct of the research, data collection, and management of the research collaborations.

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Anup Mahurkar, Director, Software Engineering and Information Technology

Anup Mahurkar is the Director of Software Engineering and Information Technology at the Informatics Resource Center (IRC) at IGS and will be a liaison for the management of the sequence annotation and analysis efforts for the GSCID. He has extensive experience in the field of genome and health sciences where has worked as a researcher, engineer, and manager over the past 16 years overseeing the work of scientists, engineers, system administrators, and managers in research environments.

Anup’s particular areas of expertise include web development, database design, grid computing, and parallel application development. In his previous position at TIGR/JCVI, he managed software development activity encompassing all the major areas of genome sequencing and analysis including sequencing, assembly, closure, annotation, and public data release. He has extensive experience in designing and deploying bioinformatics web resources and was responsible for Pathema, BRC Central, and the MSC Web Portal. In addition to his bioinformatics expertise, Anup has extensive experience in managing IT projects and is currently managing the deployment and maintenance of IT infrastructure at IGS.

For GSCID, Anup will supervise improvements and customization of sequence storage and analysis tools and pipelines. He will also oversee the development and maintenance of GSCID web portal as well as the tools necessary for public release of data generated for the GSCID.

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Lisa DeShong Sadzewicz, Project Manager, GSCID

Lisa joined IGS in 2008 as Administrative Director of the Genomics Resource Center (GRC) and is serving as Project Manager for the GSCID. She has extensive experience with genomic technologies, including DNA sequencing and synthesis, microarray analysis and genome wide association studies and expertise with laboratory management, including managing and scheduling large-scale genomic research projects.

As Administrative Director of the Genomics Resource Center (GRC) and Project Manager for the GSCID, Lisa is responsible for managing budgets for high throughput pipelines, monitoring and scheduling production, and for developing collaborations with external researchers working with the GRC. Prior to joining the GRC, Lisa was the Operations Director for the Biopolymer Genomics Core Facility (BGCF) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Laboratory operations included DNA sequencing and synthesis, peptide synthesis, custom purification projects, and microarray projects. She was responsible for decreasing costs and increasing services, including offering gene and SNP microarray analysis and SNP studies using a high-throughput real-time PCR instrument. Lisa has over 16 years experience in sequencing technologies. She has received two different patents for her research work with BRCA1, and susceptibility mutations for breast and ovarian cancer. She received her Ph.D. in Policy Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

As project manager of the GSCID, Lisa provides oversight and monitors project progress to ensure that the projects meet their scheduled deadlines. She is responsible for coordinating transitions between sequencing, assembly, finishing, annotation, analysis and data submission phases of each project.

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Luke Tallon, Scientific Director, Genomics Resource Center

Luke Tallon is the Scientific Director of the Genomics Resource Center (GRC) at IGS. Over the past ten years, he has developed expertise in high-throughput genome sequencing, assembly, finishing, and analysis. Prior to joining IGS in July 2007, Luke served as co-director of the genome finishing group and manager of the production assembly and sequence data management team at TIGR/JCVI. He directed more than 70 genome finishing projects and led the development and implementation of software pipelines for genome finishing, sequence analysis, and data management. Luke’s ten years of experience with genome sequencing have spanned four generations of sequencing technologies. Over the past two years, Luke led the effort to establish the GRC and develop each of the three sequencing pipelines currently in operation.

Luke is responsible for the scientific oversight of the GRC, including three high-throughput sequencing platforms, the LIMS, and sequence data processing, assembly, and analysis systems. He also leads GRC laboratory and informatics R&D and technology development efforts. Luke provides scientific guidance to researchers on the application of each sequencing platform and analysis of resulting data.

Luke assists in project plan development for each approved GSCID white paper and advises investigators on sequencing and assembly strategies. He is responsible for ensuring that the sequencing, assembly, finishing, and data submission phases of each project are completed successfully and on time.

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Owen White, Director of Bioinformatics at the School of Medicine

Dr. Owen White is Director of Bioinformatics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In addition to these responsibilties, he is the Director of the Informatics Resource Center at IGS. Owen has overseen the annotation of hundreds of genomes sequenced using computer analyses such as pairwise searches, multiple sequence alignments, and numerous other methods in combination with systematic manual evaluation. This administration of analysis has served to generate highly uniform annotation that includes the genomes for Arabidopsis, the mosquito Aedes agypti, parasitic organisms such as Trypanosoma Brucei and Plasmodium falciparum, human ESTs and many Bacterial and Archaeal species. He has also developed automated annotation systems such as TIGRFams, Genome Properties, as well as the Annotation Engine.

Owen has also been at the forefront of creating web based genome analysis tools. He was the PI for a number of tools that include the TIGR Comprehensive Microbial Resource, the NIAID funded Bioinformatics Resource Center, and the BRC Portal. Dr. White is currently the PI for the NHGRI funded Data Analysis and Coordiantion Center (DACC) for the Human Microbiome Project and is associated with Gemina, a web based tool designed to identify infectious pathogens and their representative genomic sequences through selection of associated epidemiology metadata.

For the GSCID Owen will lead the genome assembly, annotation, and analysis efforts.
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