Dr Helen Parkinson is Head of Molecular Archival Resources at EMBL-EBI comprising several EBI core resources including the European Nucleotide Archive, European Genome-phenome Archive, European Variation BioSamples database. With her faculty colleagues Tony Burdett, Guy Cochrane and Thomas Keane she provides essential databases and infrastructure for open and controlled access data archiving.
Helen leads the Samples, Phenotypes and Ontologies team, delivering databases, data integration tools and ontologies for biomedicine. Trained as a geneticist, Helen’s research focused on Drosophila biology, behaviour, molecular biology and medical genetics. In 1999 she shifted focus to bioinformatics and computational biology while performing positional cloning for primary pulmonary hypertension. Helen’s passion is semantic data integration and providing users with useful data. Her team participates extensively in external collaborations ranging from data analysis and generation projects to infrastructural integration projects such as the ELIXIR led initiatives BioMedBridges, CORBEL and EXELERATE and EOSCLife. In collaboration with partners in the KOMP2 project and the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium, Helen’s SPOT team manages, analyses, and distributes complex highthroughput phenotypic data from mammals and promotes phenomic data integration internationally.They also develop open-source software tools for managing data, developing and integrating ontologies and data, and integrating semantic web technologies, these are used in projects such as Open Targets and the IMI project EBiSC.
Prior to joining EMBL-EBI in 2000, Helen was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Leicester, where she worked on the genetic basis of the genetic disease Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, Hyphophatasia and synteny at human chromosomes 7 and 12. Her PhD thesis examined the temperature compensation of circadian rhythms in Drosophila with Professor Bambos Kyriacou. If she ever goes back to the lab it will be to work on an organism where forward and reverse genetics are tractable.