Ian Roberts

About me

CV

About me

I graduated from Liverpool University in 1992 with a 2nd class honours in Biochemistry. The following year I completed a one year's postgraduate diploma in Biotechnology, then moved to Cambridge as a research assistant to Dr Pam Rabbitts, who was based at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at that time. A year later I moved to the Cambridge University Pathology Department to work with Dr Nicholas Coleman on childhood small round blue cell tumours. Thereafter, I completed my PhD on the molecular cytogenetics of rhabdomyosarcoma, the most frequently occurring SRBCT to affect minors. The Coleman Group moved to the MRC Cancer Cell Unit (2001) and focussed research on the genomics of cervical cancer, in which I contributed for a further ten years, until the group underwent restructuring. I shifted field to develop my computational biology skills, and took up a role as a bioinformatician at Population Genetics Technologies (2011), where I'm now Director of Informatics.

My research interests are in the development of novel technologies and data analysis strategies that may provide a better understanding of complex biological processes, including human disease. To date, my greatest experiences have been in the fields of molecular cytogenetics and cancer genomics. Back in 1998 I devised a strategy that greatly simplified the process of single hybridisation colour karyotyping through the production of a novel strategy for chromosome paint making. Still in the field, I went on to develop a process for chromosomal translocation breakpoint mapping based upon microdissection and reverse painting, a technique we named paint assisted microdissection FISH. Around 2003 I became involved with development of genomic microarray technologies, wherein 2001 we filed a patent on a 3D architecture, "concave terraced microarrays". Moving forward, I turned my attention to data analysis strategies, and developed methods for the analysis of aCGH data (swatCGH) and absolute quantitation using SyBr green qPCR (Ct Calculator).

Now employed as a full time bioinformatician at Population Genetics (PG), I shifted field to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data analysis. PG employ a variety of targeted resequencing approaches to detect minority variants in large populations. The work has required me to rapidly gain proficiency in NGS data analysis tools and standardized workflows. These include Heng Li's Samtools methods and The Broad's Genome Analysis Tool Kit (GATK). However due to the proprietary nature of PG workflows, I've also contributed to the development of a number of in house approaches for primer design, read demultiplexing, mapping and variant detection, almost entirely coded in Python!

   Ian Roberts


Population Genetics Technologies
Babraham Hall
Babraham
Cambridge, CB22 3AT

Tel: 0754 705 0940
Email: Ian Roberts
Last updated on 26 May 2014