Director appointed to capitalise on innovations in informatics and data science

Caleb Webber

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Prof Caleb Webber as UK DRI Director of Data Science.

In this new role, Prof Webber will be responsible for developing and implementing an Institute-wide strategy to harness the power of data resources and tools in our mission to find new treatments and technologies for dementia.

On the announcement, Prof Caleb Webber, said:

I’m very excited about this new challenge. The UK DRI is a data-driven institute, and I’m determined to empower every researcher with the knowhow to interpret and exploit that data to its fullest potential. This will help guide future experiments and put us on the right track to new treatments and technology for dementia.”

Recent developments in methodology and technology are allowing us to examine the underlying causes of neurodegenerative disease like never before. With these advances has come a rapid and large expansion in the variety and volume of data. To fully exploit this valuable resource, the UK DRI is committed to investing in informatics and data science, giving researchers the tools and expertise needed to make major breakthroughs in this area.

Caleb Connectome 2 Copy

UK DRI Director, Prof Bart De Strooper, said:

“I’m thrilled that Prof Webber will be taking on the new role of Director of Data Science. The Institute will benefit greatly from his leadership and extensive experience in the bioinformatics field.

It will certainly be a challenge to pull together different strands in this area, from across research fields and global initiatives, but I have full confidence in his abilities and look forward to the outputs.”

Prof Webber, a Group Leader based at the UK DRI at Cardiff, is combining advanced computational approaches with stem cell models to improve our understanding of mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease. He has been involved in numerous large-scale collaborative genome projects over the past decade, and recently co-founded Human-Centric, an Oxford University spin-out that integrates clinical health record informatics, disease- and therapy-relevant human cellular assays and genomics, to improve drug discovery for neurological disorders.

Over the coming months I will be developing a vision for informatics and data science for the UK DRI within the UK and global data science landscape. Prof Caleb Webber, UK DRI Director of Data Science

Prof Webber will be supported in his role by the Informatics Steering Committee, representing, and acting as a conduit for, the UK DRI community on their informatics needs, and a small operational team. Several initiatives are already up and running at the Institute including an Informatics Theme to drive multidisciplinary collaborations, bioinformatics training and partnerships with key organisations in the data science and AI space, including the DEMON Network and the Alan Turing Institute.

Read more about the work of Prof Caleb Webber on his UK DRI profile and our ‘In conversation’ feature from last year.

Article published: 09 May 2022