Dr Anna Syme re-joins our team to work on major Australian BioCommons project

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5 October 2020…

From today, Dr Anna Syme re-joins Melbourne Bioinformatics to be part in the growing team of academic specialists who are essential to the successful delivery of the many ambitious Australian BioCommons projects rolling out over 2020-23.

Anna will primarily spearhead a workforce transition component (i.e. broadly enabling user upskilling) for the strategic Australian BioCommons ‘Bring Your Own Data Expansion Project’. The BYOD Project aims to integrate data-generating instruments across genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, enhancing accessibility to high-priority reference data, and managing access to data stores and compute infrastructures. This project It is part of the Australian BioCommons, a $20m National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy digital research infrastructure program for life science research. The BYOD Project is funded through an additional $2.2M NCRIS funds and has attracted approximately $8M in partner co-contributions.

Anna’s skills are perfectly aligned to this role. Graduating with a PhD in Zoology from the University of Melbourne in 2007, her twenty-plus year research career includes successfully developing extensive collaborations and networks across the Australian Life Sciences community, particularly in genomics and bioinformatics, with researchers in local and national institutions.

Most recently Anna worked on two key components of the national Bioplatforms Australia genomics project, Genomics for Australian Plants. Leading Reference Genomes and Bioinformatics Training, Anna provided high-level coordination, direction, and content. Anna’s earlier work encompassed several national projects, including Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens (2016-2017), Galaxy Australia (2018) and Australian plant research bioinformatics (2019, ongoing).

Based here at Melbourne Bioinformatics, Anna will report directly to Dr Jeff Christiansen and work closely with Dr Nigel Ward, both at QCIF/RCC at the University of Queensland. Having worked for some years now on associated projects, she is very much looking forward to a more direct involvement by formally joining this expanding and exciting project. The team is excited to be gaining Anna’s expertise, skills and insights.

It is essential that the informatics solutions the Australian BioCommons deploy address real needs, are fit for purpose and are used by life scientists across Australia. Anna will play a big role in supporting an inclusive culture of community engagement and workforce transition – where researchers are the key ingredient to solving community-scale challenges. With her years of research experience and active community engagement, we’re pleased to have such a talented bioinformatician enabling our users to upskill and get involved”, said Dr Jeff Christiansen, A/Director Engagements and Operations, Australian BioCommons.

Melbourne Bioinformatics operates at the Parkville Campus of The University of Melbourne and supports researchers who recognise that life science research is fast becoming a data science. Melbourne Bioinformatics experts collaborate on a range of national and international platform development and digital research infrastructure projects and hosts the Australian BioCommons, a large-scale investment in digital infrastructure representing an ambitious new digital capability that will define and deliver data infrastructure needs for the bio-molecular sciences community in Australia, across environmental, agricultural and biomedical science.