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Institute of Genetics and Cancer

Institute of Genetics and Cancer

A blog for our community to write about their interests and to share their stories.

Eyes on the stars, and feet on the ground – Meet Dr. Philippe Gautier

Team member of the Bioinformatics Analysis Core


Dr. Philippe GautierScience is unpredictable, but you have to ask clear and sensible biological questions before doing the analysis, rather than producing big data for the sake of it. – Suggested by Dr. Philippe Gautier (Gogo) to young researchers in the MRC Human Genetics Unit, and those who plan to get their feet wet in transcriptomics studies.

With a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Agronomy, Gogo did his PhD in Neurogenetics in Belgium, studying the genetic basis of the neuro-development of Drosophila. After graduation, he then moved to Cambridge for his first post-doc research project, continuing his exploration in developmental genetics, and with the aim to shed more light on these biological questions in mammals, in 1998, Gogo subsequently moved to MRC HGU, where he came across bioinformatics for the first time.

The magic first contact was in 2000, when he established a local database for the Mouse Sequencing Programme Consortium and realised he was fascinated about the potentials of applying computer science tools in biological research. Now as Gogo has been working in the HGU for more than 25 years, he has become one of the most reliable team members in the Bioinformatics Analysis Core providing support in analysing RNA-seq and comparative genomics data. Besides, Gogo is also involved in several research projects and the training of first-year PhD students in the HGU, giving lectures on state-of-the-art computational tools in genomic research, such as genome browsers. Though sometimes feeling nostalgic for the drosophila studies, Gogo enjoys his days in the HGU a lot. “Doing research within a team and helping others are the most exciting things about my work,” as he says.

In his spare time, Gogo loves music, gardening and astronomy as his hobbies. When he passionately talked about these and showed me the star photos from his telescopes, I seem to see the starry sky in his eyes.

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” Science should be so, life as well.



For information about the Bioinformatics Analysis Core, visit the Institute of Genetics and Cancer website



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