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The Data Analysis Group

DAG is a team of scientists with strong computational, mathematical and statistical skills who can provide advice on experimental design, programming, statistics and general biological data analysis. DAG members can collaborate on short and medium term bioinformatics projects.

How do I work with the Data Analysis Group?

You can make initial contact with any member of the DAG team to discuss the kind of challenge you are facing.

If it is a quick question about how to do something, we can probably help you straight away. If it looks like the sort of project we would need to spend time on and might be able to work with, then we ask that the leader of your group writes a short (2-3 page) description of the problem so that we can consider it at our weekly Data Analysis Group meetings.

Although we can sometimes make more of data you already have, it is much better if you can talk to us before you design your experiment as we may be able to help you optimise an experimental strategy or in some cases eliminate the need for an experiment.

Ideally, talk to us when you are thinking about the experiment or grant proposal so that we can advise on statistical power required (and hence cost you should put in your grant) and the likely time needed for the complexities of analysis.

Who can work with the Data Analysis Group?

The majority of our collaborations are with colleagues in the School of Life Sciences, but we are happy to talk with any scientist who is planning data intensive experiments pertinent to biology or has a question about biological data analysis.


We are funded from a number of sources including the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council (MRC), and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).


Dr. James Abbott recently took on the position of Manager of the Data Analysis Group. Prof. Geoff Barton provides academic oversight. The team collectively discusses and decides project allocations. A management group exists with representatives of the major stakeholders in the DAG and this provides a strategic overview of the group. Current members of the management group include Profs Tom Owen-Hughes, Lamond, Swedlow and Barton.

Background to the DAG

DAG image The DAG has grown from and is co-located with Prof. Geoff Barton's Bioinformatics research group.

The DAG started in 2006 with the appointment of Chris Cole as part of the Scottish Bioinformatics Research Network. In 2009 it expanded thanks to close collaboration with the GRE Centre which funded two positions in the group (Pieta Schofield and Marek Gierlinski). Sustainability of the DAG has been achieved till 2017 by continued funding from the GRE Centre and further funding from a mixture of sources including smaller contributions from grants across the School of Life Sciences.

DAG image Geoff Barton's Group at Dundee has always collaborated with experimentalists. Collaboration on a specific biological system (e.g. kinases or glycosyl transferases) has led to new general studies of proteins, new computational techniques and databases. In the past we have been able to contribute to collaborations when the goals of the research have been in line with our existing research grants. However, there are many opportunities to do interesting science at the interface between computing and biology that require more time to be dedicated than is possible with this model and yet are not large enough at the outset to justify a full grant application. The Data Analysis Group (DAG) enables a larger range of collaborations to be carried out between the "dry" bioinformatics research labs and different "wet" groups across the School of Life Sciences and also provides a core of experts who can give advice on analysis problems and provide training.

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