Dr. Mélanie Courtot


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I am the Director of Genome Informatics and incoming Principal Investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). My team develops new software, databases and other necessary components to store, organize and compute over the large and complex datasets being generated by OICR’s cancer research programs. I am passionate about translational informatics - building intelligent systems to gain new insights and impact human health. I co-lead the Data Use and Cohort representation groups for the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH), as well as cohort harmonization efforts for Common Infrastructure for National Cohorts in Europe, Canada, and Africa (CINECA), the International HundredK+ Cohorts Consortium (IHCC) and the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative.

Prior to joining OICR in January 2022, I was the metadata standards coordinator for the archival and infrastructure team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), where I designed tools to streamline multi-omics submissions and developed integrated metadata strategies across the institute’s archival resources and other projects such as FAIRPlus, focusing on data quality, semantic enrichment, and standardization for pharmaceutical and cohort data respectively.

After receiving a BSc in Biochemistry and Master in Computer Science (2002) from the Université Louis Pasteur, in Strasbourg, France, I spent several years in different countries working as an international consultant/software developer. I rejoined academia in 2009 to start my PhD in Bioinformatics (graduated 2014) from the University of British Columbia, and did postdoctoral research at Simon Fraser University, before joining EMBL-EBI in June 2015 to lead the Gene Ontology (GO) editorial office and the Gene Ontology Annotation (GOA) projects.

I can be found on twitter, @mcourtot, where I often post about science, equity and diversity, food and silly things me or my children do.