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.

Alex Bateman accepts the 2010 Benjamin Franklin award

Alex’s acceptance speech for the 2010 Benjamin Franklin Award in the Life Sciences is now online at SciVee.tv. The fearless leader of Xfam, grounded by a piddly wee volcanic ash cloud and forced to videoconference to his adoring public. Meanwhile, I’m supposed to schlep over to Cambridge for the annual Xfam meeting in a couple of weeks, and I guarantee that Alex won’t accept any volcanic excuses from me.

Congratulations, Alex, and to the whole Pfam and Rfam teams in Cambridge!