Dr. Paul Stothard is a Professor at the University of Alberta, and Dr. Gary Van Domselaar is Chief of Bioinformatics at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. Together they are leading a new $940,000 project
to help researchers make sense of the massive amounts of data generated in the sequencing of bacterial genomes.
This is particularly important for the National Microbiology Lab which has the job of helping to stop the spread of infectious disease, keeps an eye on new or emerging bacterial strains, and is a key part of the country's emergency response to disease outbreaks.
With the new funding Drs Stothard and Van Domselaar are developing Prokshee
, a software tool that will be freely available to public and private researchers working in health, agriculture, natural resources, and the environment.
The new funding was Alberta's piece of a major announcement
on February 4th
by Kirsty Duncan
, Canada's Minister of Science and Sport. There were 37 projects funded through three Genome Canada competitions and Genome Alberta is pleased to see this new research toolkit emerge as a national success.
I talked to the 2 researchers about their project's objectives, challenges, and how it will be used.