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.
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.
Our core funding is from the Wellcome Trust via the GRE Centre which pays for two members of the DAG. A further position is supported as part of the the Wellcome Trust funded Centre for Dermatology and Genetic Medicine, while a fourth is funded by a mixture of grants from Medical Research Council (MRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and smaller Wellcome Trust grants awarded to collaborators of the DAG.
Prof. Geoff Barton leads the group. The team collectively discusses and decides project allocations. A management group exists centred on the GRE Centre that provides a strategic overview of the 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 funds two positions in the group (Pieta Schofield and Marek Gierlinski). Sustainability of the DAG is being achieved 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.
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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