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Addressing Biological Informatics Workforce Needs

Addressing Biological Informatics Workforce Needs

Location: Online
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
Presented by: American Institute of Biological Sciences

The biological sciences are increasingly driven by the ability to collect, identify, integrate, analyze, and interpret complex data. Researchers and educators, current and future, must have the knowledge and skills required to use these data and data management and analysis tools appropriately. In December 2015, the American Institute of Biological Sciences convened a workshop in conjunction with its annual meeting of Member Societies and Organizations to explore the education and training issues that must be addressed to ensure we have the skilled biological informatics workforce required to advance biology for the benefit of science and society. The workshop generated a report with 12 recommendations for professional societies, journal editors, universities, faculty and students, government agencies, and funding organizations. This webinar will summarize this meeting and explore in greater detail the recommendations identified by workshop participants.


Keith Crandall, Ph.D. George Washington University

Keith A. Crandall is the founding Director of the Computational Biology Institute at George Washington University. Professor Crandall studies the computational biology, population genetics, and bioinformatics, developing and testing of big data methods of DNA sequence analysis. He applies such methods to the study of the evolution of both infectious diseases (especially HIV) and crustaceans (especially crayfish). Professor Crandall has published over 250 peer reviewed publications, as well as three books. He has been a Fulbright Visiting Scholar to Oxford University and an Allen Wilson Centre Sabbatical Fellow at the University of Auckland. Professor Crandall has received a number of awards for research and teaching, including the American Naturalist Society Young Investigator Award, an NSF CAREER Award, a PhRMA Foundation Faculty Development Award in Bioinformatics, Honors Professor of the Year award at Brigham Young University, ISI Highly Cited Researcher, and the Edward O. Wilson Naturalist Award. He was also recently elected a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Professor Crandall earned his BA degree from Kalamazoo College in biology and mathematics, an MA degree from Washington University in statistics, and a PhD from Washington University in biology and biomedical sciences. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Puyo, Ecuador.

Robert Gropp, Ph.D., American Institute of Biological Sciences

Robert Gropp is the Interim Co-Executive Director of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. He was a principal organizer of an NSF-supported workshop that AIBS held in May 2015 on Enhancing Complex Data Integration across Research Domains. Additionally, Gropp is the Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded Research Coordination Network grant that is focused on building a sustainable national community capable of implementing the recommendations outlined in the "Strategic and Implementation Plans for a Network Integrated Biocollections Alliance." Gropp also serves as Director of Policy for AIBS and the Natural Science Collections Alliance.

Anna Monfils, Ph.D., Central Michigan University

Anna Monfils is an Associate Professor and Director of the herbarium at Central Michigan University (CMU). Her background is in plant systematics, ecology, and evolution, and she has an active research program investigating systematics in Fuireneae (Cyperaceae), management of aquatic invasive macrophytes in the Great Lakes, and conservation in prairie fen wetlands. She mentors undergraduate, master's and PhD level graduate students. Dr. Monfils serves on the BCoN Advisory Council, is a participant in the AIM-UP!, was an iDigBio scholar, and has worked closely with iDigBio to develop the Small Collections Network (SCNet). She co-developed an NSF-URM Biology Undergraduate Mentoring Program, BUMP into Research at CMU!, and is a co-Principal Investigator on the PLANTS II grant to the Botanical Society of America. Both programs are designed to foster broader participation in the biological sciences.

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