The University of Dundee, ranked the top UK University in Biological Sciences in the Research Excellence Framework, is one of the leading European Life Sciences institutions.
Dundee was also named the most influential scientific research institution in ‘The State of Innovation’ report by Clarivate Analytics, ahead of the likes of MIT and Berkeley.
Its School of Life Sciences enjoys a reputation as one of the most dynamic international centres for molecular cell biology, with outstanding laboratory and technology facilities.
Dundee and big image data
Professor Jason Swedlow earned a BA in Chemistry from Brandeis University in 1982, and his PhD in Biophysics finishing in 1994. A postdoctoral fellow at UCSF and Harvard Medical School from 1994 and 1998, he established his own laboratory at the Wellcome Trust Biocentre, University of Dundee, as a Principal Investigator and Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow. He was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship in 2002, and named Professor of Quantitative Cell Biology in 2007.
Swedlow’s University of Dundee research laboratory focuses mitotic and interphase chromosome structure and dynamics. In 2002, Swedlow founded the Open Microscopy Environment (OME (along with Peter Sorger and Ilya Goldberg)),an international consortium of researchers and software developers building open specifications and software that enable access, sharing, analysis and publication of large multi-dimensional image data. OME’s tools are now used worldwide in most life sciences and biomedical research institutions, in both academic and industrial research settings, and have been licensed by several commercial technology companies.
Under Swedlow’s leadership, the team at Dundee also demonstrated how aggregating image data from laboratories all around the world has the potential to revolutionise scientific research. The Image Data Resource (IDR) is a public database that collects and integrates imaging data related to experiments published in leading scientific journals. ‘Big Data’ from imaging experiments conducted by scientists all over the world, which were previously too large and difficult to share, are now available to the citizen scientists and the public.
The construction and use of bioimaging data resources is still evolving, and will take another 5-10 years to fully mature. Professor Swedlow’s work on IDR has demonstrated that TeraByte-scale datasets can be routinely submitted, annotated, and published, and public tools for data analysis and querying can be deployed and used at scale.