Dr Matthieu Muffato

Informatics Infrastructure Team Lead

I lead the Informatics Infrastructure team of the Tree of Life programme, which oversees the implementation and delivery of the genome assembly pipelines, and provides support for large-scale genome analyses for the Tree of Life faculty teams.

My ambition is to provide the most efficient platform for assembling and analysing genomes at an unprecedented scale. The Tree of Life projects will generate tens of thousands of high-quality genomes over the coming years – more than have ever been sequenced ! It is a challenging and extremely exciting task that will shape the future of biology.

We are the interface between the Tree of Life teams (assembly production and faculty research) and the Sanger’s IT teams, working together with the informatics teams of the other programmes. The work involves a wide range of scientific fields and technologies such as assembly methods, genomics, comparative genomics, cloud computing, large-scale analyses, with a strong emphasis on metadata tracking, quality controls, and event recording.

During my PhD in the Dyogen group under the supervision of Hugues Roest Crollius, I devised a method for reconstructing the gene order and the chromosome structure of extinct vertebrate species. The method was validated using simulations, and the results are available on the Genomicus browser and updated with the Ensembl releases.

I have also worked in the comparative-genomics team of the Ensembl (aka Compara), as a developer and as the project leader. My initial focus was the pipeline that builds protein-trees for the Ensembl release, but over the years I worked on every pipeline, every corner of the API, and extensively contributed to the eHive workflow manager.

My timeline