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11/12/2014

CEXS-UPF / CRG: Interview with Arcadi Navarro: "It's thrilling that goodwill can make achievements like establishing the EGA in Barcelona possible"

CEXS-UPF / CRG: Interview with Arcadi Navarro: "It's thrilling that goodwill can make achievements like establishing the EGA in Barcelona possible"


News from CEXS-UPF


 

Arcadi Navarro Cuartiellas is an ICREA research professor, director of the Evolutionary Genomics Research Group at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (established by the Spanish National Research Council and UPF), and a team leader at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG). He has been in charge of the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) project in Barcelona since 2013.

What's the EGA?

It's a large archive of human genome data, mostly related to diseases. It was created by the European Bioinformatics Institute, or EBI, which operates from Hinxton in the UK. The archive contains the results of over 800 studies, giving it a volume of close to a million gigabytes and rising. It now has a centre in Barcelona, which is run by the CRG and provided with computing capacity by the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, or BSC. The EBI and a team that I direct manage the archive jointly.

As a researcher, what does directing the project entail?

Dividing myself into lots of little pieces, learning amazing things and working with a fantastic team. First and foremost though, it entails the satisfaction of contributing to the genomics and Big Data revolution. Secondly, it means being able to ask numerous questions that we simply couldn't have contemplated asking just a short while ago. The data stored in the EGA makes it possible to carry out massive, comprehensive studies. We can expect, for example, to establish some surprising links between diseases.

For the full interview, please click here.