Speaker: Prof. Sarah Ennis
University of Southampton
The huge growth in Human DNA data, resulting from the recent development of high-throughput sequencing methods, provides challenges to scientists studying the human genome which are similar to those faced in other big data fields such as high-energy physics, astronomy and climate prediction.
In this talk, Sarah Ennis, Professor of Genomics at Southampton University, will discuss how the problems are being tackled in her own field. She will introduce some fundamental genetics, explaining the nature of genetic data, how it varies between individuals and how this variation can be interpreted to better understand the genetic causes of human disease.
She will outline key aspects of the new high-throughput DNA sequencing methods which allow an entire human genome to be sequenced within a single day. These are providing valuable data in all fields of genomic research but they mean that new methods need to be developed to handle the huge new data sets.
For her own research on the genetic causes of disease, the new methods include the use of modern machine learning techniques and the development of topological maps which highlight critical areas of the genome. The talk will close with clinical examples of how these are being used and discuss some of the key challenges for the future.
Image: Bolzer et al. (2005) PLoS Biol 3(5)