CWI Researchers Alexander Schönhuth, Leen Stougie, and Solon Pissis of the Life Sciences and Health group have been awarded a Research and
Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) grant from the European Commission. The RISE scheme promotes international and cross-sector collaboration through exchanging research and innovation staff, and sharing knowledge and ideas from research to market (and vice-versa). The other members of the network are the Università di Milano - Bicocca, Institut Pasteur, Bielefeld University, Comenius University, and Geneton.
The project aims to provide a timely answer to the urgent need of coping with a new data revolution in population genomics that has the promises of bringing an extraordinary advancement in biological sciences and the medical care of genetic diseases. The leitmotif of this project is to fill the gap between the rapidly increasing power of DNA sequencing technologies and the current limitations in resolving the inherent complexity of the forthcoming volumes of data. To this end, the network will develop algorithmic foundations of computational pan-genomics, that is, provide the building blocks for designing computer programs that can operate on tangled genomes of huge cohorts (thousands of individuals and more) by, for example, compressing a pan-genome, comparing two pan-genomes, or constructing a phylogeny explaining the evolution of a pan-genome.