We are very pleased to announce that the University of East Anglia (UEA) has become the most recent organisation to join ELIXIR-UK, bringing our total number of member organisations to 19. You can view the full list of member organisations here.
Researchers at the UEA have been aware of ELIXIR for some time, because they are based on the Norwich Research Park alongside the Earlham Institute, which houses the ELIXIR-UK coordination office. Despite these close links UEA was not a member of ELIXIR-UK until Steven Hayward, who is a Reader in Computational Biology, decided to initiate the process.
Steven says that he decided to push for the UEA to join because of an implementation study application which he was asked to be involved in. Many of his colleagues will also benefit from their institution joining ELIXIR-UK, especially as there are several groups who develop software tools and databases for the analysis of biological data.
As mentioned, Steven will benefit from his institution joining ELIXIR-UK because he was contacted by Professor Shoshana Wodak at the at the Free University of Brussels to join an Implementation Study application: “Building on PDBe-KB to chart and characterise the conformational landscape of native proteins”. Steven said “This project concerns the creation of infrastructure to chart the experimentally sampled conformational diversity of native proteins in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) augmented with results of state-of-the-art computational tools. The invitation to join this project was the result of my work in developing tools and databases for the analysis of protein domain movements .” If successful, funding is given to those who are part of an ELIXIR member organisation, and therefore joining ELIXIR-UK has opened up funding opportunities. And even if unsuccessful, Steven says “it has put me in contact with others in my field and given me the prospect of collaborating with them in the future.”
Some researchers in the Schools of Computing Sciences and Biological Sciences already have ongoing projects with members of the Earlham Institute and have expressed an interest in getting involved in ELIXIR, and so we are looking forward to working with our colleagues at UEA as they join the ELIXIR-UK community.
If you work at UEA and would like to learn more about how you can get involved in ELIXIR now that your organisation is a member, you can sign up to our mailing list, see which focus groups and communities you can get involved in or contact us directly for more information.
If you belong to an organisation which is not a member of ELIXIR-UK but you would like to be more involved in ELIXIR, you can find out more about the application process, sign up to our mailing list to see how you could benefit, or get in touch with us with any questions.