What do we do?
At the Applied Computational Genomics Team, we focus on theoretical and computational aspects of modelling the process of genome evolution and adaptive change. With the growing size and complexity of molecular data, we strive to keep pace by providing accurate, scalable and practical computational solutions that enable a wide range of scientists to analyze patterns of evolution and natural selection in large genomic and omics data. Our goal is to bring new bioinformatics methods to real applications, ranging from biotechnology to biomedical research, ecology and agriculture. We embrace an interdisciplinary approach by integrating different data sources and combining methods.
During the course of 2016, our team worked on the SNSF grant implementing new algorithms in the prototype JATI software, in order to allow for simultaneous fast alignment and phylogeny reconstruction from genomics sequences.
This included the formulation of a dynamic programming algorithm explicitly including an indel model.
Interesting work has been completed in collaboration with Roche to analyze the flu seasonal dynamics, based on genomic sequences collected worldwide and over several years.
The first author of this study, PhD student Lorenzo Gatti, presented this work at the SIB scientific days in Bienne and received an award for the best lightning talk.
This year our group organized and hosted for the first time the PhyloSIB workshop “Big data and phylogenomics" in ZHAW Wädenswil.
The workshop attracted about 40 participants, thus representing the largest number of SIB groups in the history of PhyloSIB. As a highlight, Prof. Ziheng Yang opened the workshop with an invited talk.
Finally, at the end of 2016 we received two new research grants. As a result, two more postdoctoral fellows and one research assistant will join our group in 2017.