|Judith Blake, PhD
The Jackson Laboratory
|Nicola Mulder, PhD
University of Cape Town
Dr. Blake's research focuses on functional and comparative genome informatics. She works on the development of systems to integrate and analyze genetic, genomic and phenotypic information. She is one of the principal investigators of the Gene Ontology (GO) Consortium, an international effort to provide controlled structured vocabularies for molecular biology that serve as terminologies, classifications and ontologies to further data integration, analysis and reasoning. Her interest in bio-ontologies stems as well from the work she does as a principal investigator with the Mouse Genome Informatics (MGI) project at The Jackson Laboratory. The MGI system is a model-organism community database resource that provides integrated information about the genetics, genomics and phenotypes of the laboratory mouse. Her current research projects combine bio-ontologies and database knowledge systems to analyze disease processes with the objective of discovering new molecular elements and pathways that contribute to particular pathologies such as respiratory diseases.
Professor Nicky Mulder heads the Computational Biology Division at the University of Cape Town, and leads H3ABioNet, a large Pan African Bioinformatics Network of 27 institutions in 17 countries. H3ABioNet aims to develop bioinformatics capacity to enable genomic data analysis on the continent. She is also co-PI of a Sickle Cell Data Coordinating Centre. Prior to her position at UCT, she worked for 9 years at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge, as a Team Leader. At UCT her research focuses on genetic determinants of susceptibility to disease, African genome variation, and microbial genomics and infectious diseases from both the host and pathogen perspectives. Her group provides bioinformatics services and develops new algorithms for the analysis of complex African genetic data. Prof Mulder is actively involved in training and education as well as curriculum development in Bioinformatics and Genomic Medicine. She co-chairs international committees on Bioinformatics education and sits on a number of Scientific Advisory Boards for African and International projects.