In July 2015, our laboratory will move to Harvard University. I’ve accepted an offer to join Harvard’s faculty in two departments: Molecular & Cellular Biology (in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences), and Applied Mathematics (in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences). The laboratory will be on the first floor of the venerable, historic Biolabs building on the Cambridge campus. Much like we optimized our Janelia location to be the closest lab to the pub, now we will be strategically located closest to the food truck on Divinity Avenue. I’m told that our future space was once occupied by Eric Lander, so who knows what we’re going to find during construction. Charred effigies of Craig Venter, I trust.
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Belated congratulations to Rob Finn, who has moved to EMBL-EBI to lead the Protein Families team. The HMMER web services pilot project that HHMI has funded at Janelia, under Rob’s leadership, is now in transition to EBI, and Rob and I will write more about this in the future.

Slightly-less-belated congratulations to Travis Wheeler, who has left the lab to start his new job as an assistant professor at the University of Montana this fall. The nhmmer software project and his lead role in the Dfam mobile element database moves with him. We mourn the death of our collaborator and friend Jerzy Jurka this past July. Together with Arian Smit and others, sometime soon we hope to have more to say about the legacy of Jerzy’s seminal Repbase database.

Timely — perhaps even premature — congratulations to Eric Nawrocki, who is in process of accepting a position at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, where he seems likely to start in January. Eric will remain lead developer of the Infernal RNA homology search codebase. We’ll probably have more to say about that too, and what it means for Infernal development and the Rfam structural RNA database.

It’s getting a little underpopulated here in our Janelia monastery cells. But there’s good reason for that, all part of the master plan… another exodus story that I’ll post about soon.

Wellcome Trust Computational RNA Biology meeting, 11-13 November 2014

wtrnamtgThe Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is hosting a meeting on computational RNA biology on 11-13 November 2014, co-organized by Alex Bateman (EMBL-EBI), Anton Enright (EMBL-EBI), Mihaela Zavolan (University of Basel), and myself. I’m especially keen on this meeting because we’ve invited several people who have been active in developing computational methods for incorporating new chemical probing data, such as SHAPE, into RNA structure prediction, something that I spent quite some time thinking about for a recent review I wrote for Annual Reviews of Biophysics. Registration deadline is 26 September. See the registration page at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute for more information, including the invited speakers list.