18th July 2016 – Katherine James, Newcastle University

Katherine James.jpgI’m a Post-Doctoral bioinformatician working with the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology (CBCB) and the Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex bioSystems (ICOS) research group at Newcastle University.  My research focuses on the large-scale integration of biological data in order to generate novel, testable hypotheses.

I originally studied Molecular Biology as an undergraduate at Newcastle but, due to a lack of jobs in the area at the time I graduated, I spent the next few years initially managing a pub and restaurant (great fun, poor pay), and then working as an administrator for the Civil Service (better pay, mind-numbingly boring).

Eventually my love of biology and computing science led me back to Newcastle to the, then relatively new, MRes Bioinformatics course. I subsequently stayed to do a PhD in Computing Science (during which I was lucky enough to be one of the first Computing Science PhDs in the UK to do laboratory work during my project).

As a Post-Doc I have worked on a diverse range of project; from data analysis to software and algorithm development, and involving yeast, human and bacterial data.  During my week on Biotweeps I primarily hope to describe how varied, interesting and novel bioinformatics research can be, but also discuss some of the practicalities of computational research, and the process of becoming an independent researcher (which I am currently in the initial stages of).

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