Anne Niknejad, University of Lausanne and SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics was unanimously selected for the Biocuration Career Award.

AnneNiknejad is an exceptional biocurator who has worked for over 10 years on the development of resources and vocabularies for the description of anatomical ontologies. She is playing a key role in curation of expression data, of anatomical and developmental ontologies, as lead curator for the Bgee project in Marc Robinson-Rechavi’s group in Lausanne. Anne’s contribution to anatomical homology has been essential to provide a large coverage of anatomical homology in a curated and structured manner originally in vHOG and since 2012 directly using Uberon ( Anne combines the capture of knowledge from textbooks of anatomy, development and zoology, with scientific literature which spans evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo), paleontology, systematics, zoology and recently single-cell atlases. By creating the ontology relations of homology, Anne extracts new knowledge from these disparate sources. She also participated in the development of mechanisms to handle the contradictions which emerge from new results or differences in interpretation between reports. This homology annotation work is critical to the future success of Bgee, but also of other projects relying on comparisons between species which map to anatomy, such as the Monarch Initiative. Anne’s knowledge is not limited to anatomy and she contributed to annotations in other resources: she curated lipid structures in SwissLipids (PMID:25943471) and enzyme reactions in Rhea (PMID: 30272209). 

Thank you to the Award Committee:

Meghan Balk
Rigden, Dan
Donna Maglott
Susan Tweedie
Jana Sponarova