Suzanna (Suzi) Lewis

Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory -- Open Biological Ontologies + the Gene Ontology Consortium (GOC)

My work focuses on the management, integration, and accuracy of biological data assets, with the aim of facilitating the use of this information by the community. I began working in this area when I directed the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project (BDGP) Informatics group, ultimately culminating in the successful publication of the annotated Drosophila genome in March 2000. Over the years, I have worked with people from a wide range of different backgrounds: software developers, biological curators, students (undergraduate and graduate), post-doctoral researchers to develop software infrastructure for the genomics research community. My portfolio covers the full spectrum of data science: from annotation tools such as Apollo (a genomics feature editor now used by numerous small genome projects and educators), to a phylogenetically-based curation tool for functional inference of proteins, to data management (e.g. the Chado database used by hundreds of small genome projects) and the Data Coordinating Center for modENCODE (integrating raw data and associated meta-data from almost 40 different international laboratories), and now primarily on the use of ontologies as a formal semantic framework for organizing data. For example, I am one of the original founders of the Open Biological Ontologies and the Gene Ontology Consortium (GOC) on which I am currently a PI. My perspective is that the development and use of ontologies enables research. By providing computable representations, reflecting a domain's current understanding of how a biological systems operates, researchers can more readily search, compare and draw inferences from what is currently known.



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