O’Brien leaving NCI after 25 years
The chair of iBOL's Science Advisory Board, Stephen O'Brien, has left the National Cancer Institute’s Laboratory of Genomic Diversity after 25 years to help jump-start a genome bioinformatics centre at St. Petersburg University in Russia.
O’Brien has been awarded a three-year, $5 million grant from the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. The so-called "megagrant" program started in 2010 to boost Russian science by attracting big-name researchers to work at least part-time in that country.
Though a cancer institute researcher, O’Brien had also concentrated on comparative genetic studies to understand the evolution and conservation of mammals. In 2009, he and two others started the Genome 10K project, a call for the sequencing of 10,000 vertebrates.
Over the coming three years, O’Brien will spend at least four months a year working at St. Petersburg the center, which is scheduled to open in May.