Basser Seminar Series

Trees, Enzymes, Computers: Challenges in Bioinformatics

Speaker: Professor Greg Butler
Computer Science and Enginnering, Concordia University

Time: Friday 10 September 2010, 4:00-5:00pm
Refreshments will be available from 3:30pm

Location: The University of Sydney, School of IT Building, Lecture Theatre (Room 123), Level 1

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Abstract

The focus of our research is on sustainability through the replacement of chemical processes (often using petrochemicals) with biological processes using enzymes. We search the genomes of fungi for enzymes with potential for industrial applications utlizing reusable non-food biomass such as trees, straws, and grasses. So enzymes that decompose ligno-cellulose, the building blocks of plant cell walls, are important.

Bioinformatics is the use of computers to manage, analyze, and mine data to assist bench scientists to prioritize their work, and to translate data into knowledge. This talk will highlight some of the gaps between what we would like to do, and what we currently do. In particular, I will emphasis some roles of tree and graph data structures in bioinformatics algorithms particularly those for annotation of enzyme function using phylogenomics.

Speaker's biography

Gregory Butler is Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. He is a founder of the Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics in Montreal where he directs the development of the bioinformatics platform for large-scale fungal genomics projects. His research focuses on advanced IT for knowledge-based bioinformatics. He was a faculty member in Computer Science at the University of Sydney from 1981 to 1990.