Ian is the Head of the Bioinformatics & Scientific Computing Facility at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) in Dresden, Germany. A biologist by training, he holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh in Molecular Biology and a PhD from the University of Nottingham in Genetics / Bioinformatics. Ian moved to Dresden from the UK ten years ago to work in the MPI-CBG bioinformatics core facility and, since becoming leader of the facility in 2010, has been integral to the expansion of the core facility from a pure bioinformatics service to one that includes scientific software development and image analysis. This growth of the facility’s mandate was in response to the increasing number of large biological data sets being produced and the requirement for corresponding data handling, analysis and presentation solutions.
In this regard, the Scientific Computing Facility provides a unified service to assist researchers in the tackling of scientific questions involving computational analysis, data handling and image processing. The nature of modern biological research and the movement from small scale studies to analysis of data on a global scale (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics) requires significant computational analysis and expertise across a wide variety of fields. Modern studies often produce multiple types of 'omics data and may also include high throughput imaging data, thus requiring techniques ranging from biological sequences analysis through to image processing/analysis. The Scientific Computing Facility combines expertise in bioinformatics data analysis, bioimage analysis and software development to produce robust workflows, algorithms and tools for the analysis, exploration and visualization of large complex datasets of mixed datatypes.