All posts by RamaBalakrishnan

Anne Niknejad – RECIPIENT OF THE 2021 BIOCURATION AWARD

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 (http://uberon.github.io). 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

Amos Bairoch – Recipient of the 2021 Exceptional Contribution to Biocuration AWARD

It is our great pleasure to announce the recipient of the 2021 Exceptional Contribution to Biocuration Award:

Prof. Amos Bairoch, University of Geneva and SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. 

Amos created the Swiss-Prot knowledgebase in 1986, which rapidly became the gold standard for proteins in terms of biocuration. Nobody, except Michael Ashburner, contributed more to the biocuration field. Amos was definitively the most accurate and productive biocurator in Swiss-Prot. In 2002, he co-founded UniProt, the universal protein resource, and Swiss-Prot became UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot, the expertly curated section of UniProtKB. UniProt is the reference resource in the field of proteins: it is accessed by hundreds of thousands of users each month and is cited in tens of thousands of publications. UniProt is an Elixir core data resource. In 2009, Amos left UniProt and co-founded NextProt, a knowledge platform on human proteins, which constitutes the reference knowledgebase for human protein annotation in the context of HUPO Human Proteome Project (HPP). Last but not least, he created Cellosaurus, a knowledge resource on cell lines, which attempts to document all cell lines used in biomedical research. Cellosaurus is now considered as the reference for cell lines in biology and is an Elixir core data resource. Amos is also co-founder of the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and of the ExPASy Bioformatics portal. But it is impossible to list all his contributions.

Congratulations to Amos!

Thank you to the Award Committee:

Meghan Balk
Rigden, Dan
Donna Maglott
Susan Tweedie
Jana Sponarova