Bioinformatics Unit Winter-Spring Webinars | 5 - R. Durbin - Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge: Progress in genome assembly and sequencing all of life

The Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (Bioinformatics Unit) runs a series of Webinar involving renowned scientists and researchers focusing on algorithms, models, biomedical and biotechnological techniques and clinical studies and applications. The webinars are coordinated by Prof. Alfredo Pulvirenti and will be freely accessed through the MS Teams Platform starting February 2021. The fifth Webinar is scheduled for: April 27, 2021, 3 pm

Le cattedre di Bioinformatica del Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale organizzano una serie di webinar, che coinvolgono scienziati e ricercatori di fama internazionale su algoritmi, modelli, tecniche biomediche e biotecnologiche, studi clinici ed applicazioni. I webinar, coordinati dal Prof. Alfredo Pulvirenti, saranno accessibili tramite la piattaforma Teams. Il quinto incontro è previsto per martedì 27 aprile 2021 alle ore 15:00.
Title: Progress in genome assembly and sequencing all of life 

Speaker: Prof. Richard Durbin, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge and Wellcome Sanger Institute

Abstract: We are entering a third phase of the era of genome sequencing.  The first phase in the 1990s and 2000s sequenced human and a few other important species with Sanger technology.  This led to genomic science.  The second applied short read sequencing to study within population variation, leading to genomic medicine.  Now with single molecule long read technologies we can increasingly cheaply and rapidly assemble high quality reference genomes.  We have started to scale these approaches, and I will discuss recent developments in the Vertebrate Genomes Project and the Darwin Tree of Life project.  These both are affiliated to the Earth Biogenome Project, which is aiming to coordinate sequencing over a million species in the coming decade. 

These projects have the potential to lead to new approaches to ecological science and conservation, as well as comparative genomics applications to understanding the function and evolution of the genome and its products.  I will also discuss some of the many challenges, both technical in computational methods for genome assembly and analysis, and societal in organising how we will carry out this research and ensure equitable sharing of the benefits.