Professor Des Higgins
University College Dublin
Professor Higgins has been involved in Bioinformatics research since 1985 when he first began his post-doctoral position in the laboratory of Paul Sharp in the Genetics Department of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. During that time, he wrote the first Clustal programs for multiple sequence alignment. These programs allowed researchers to align large numbers of protein or DNA sequences, reliably and quickly on personal computers. Since then, Clustal has been cited and used on servers worldwide, more than all the other multiple alignment programs combined. More recently, Professor Higgins has collaborated with groups at EMBL Heidelberg, the European Bioinformatics Institute and labs in Strasbourg and Munich to develop Clustal Omega, funded by Science Foundation Ireland.
Professor Higgins’ group specialises in the use of multivariate data analysis for data exploration and visualisation and in the integration of data of different types such as gene expression, proteomics, promoter motif and microRNA binding site data. His group actively collaborates with researchers worldwide, and Professor Higgins is also Principal Investigator on one of five work packages in the Systems Biology Ireland core grant, led by Professor Walter Kolch.