I joined the EBI services department in April 1998, joining the merry team of nucleotide sequence curators. As such, I take part in sequence annotation and processing of sequence submissions to the EMBL database. I also develop software tools to help us process submissions efficiently, which is maybe why I'm sometimes known as 'Automation-Man'... I also take part in the database management of large scale genome sequencing projects (organisms soon to be assigned!).
Before joining the EBI, I worked for the UK MRC Human Genome Mapping Project Resource Centre (also located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus). I was part of the Bioinformatics Applications Group, where I helped evaluate and install new software relevant to biology research, and participated in the development of user-friendly interfaces to arcane programs, as well as train researchers in the art of bioinformatics.
I was originally trained as a biologist, first as a biochemical engineer in the Institut National des Sciences Appliquees in Lyon, France. I then carried out three years of doctoral research into the novel ubiquitin conjugating enzyme encoded by African swine fever virus at the BBSRC Institute for Animal Health in Pirbright (UK) under the supervision of Dr. Linda Dixon. My research activities were interrupted for 16 months while I carried out my French National Service in the Science & Technology Department of the French Embassy in Bonn, Germany. I was responsible for following German technology advances in the life sciences. I then joined the Polypeptide Laboratory of McGill University in Montreal (Quebec) and carried out postdoctoral research under the supervision of Dr. Simon Wing. During those two years, I knocked out a spermatid specific ubiquitin conjugating enzyme in the mouse using targeted gene-inactivation in embryonic stem cells by homologous recombination techniques.