Dr Melissa Burke has joined QCIF as Training and Communications Officer for the Australian BioCommons.
This is a joint appointment with the University of Queensland’s Research Computing Centre (RCC).
Melissa joins the team from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in Cambridge where she worked for four years as its Scientific Training Officer.
She managed the day-to-day running of EMBL-EBI’s bioinformatics e-learning program, including organising and delivering webinars and online tutorials, as well as face-to-face training.
“We’re thrilled that Melissa has joined the BioCommons team and further strengthened our partnership with QCIF,” said Australian BioCommons’ Training and Communications Manager, Dr Christina Hall.
“We’re sure that the deep knowledge of bioinformatics training and exceptional connections to international peers that Melissa brings will greatly benefit the national bioinformatics training program.”
Melissa had been looking to return to Australia for a while. “This seemed like a perfect opportunity to become involved with the Australian BioCommons and make the most of the skills, knowledge and connections that I had made while at EMBL-EBI,” she said.
“It’s been interesting to watch the BioCommons develop over the past few years and see some of the fantastic projects, initiatives and training offerings that they have put in place to support the scientific community.
“I’m looking forward to reconnecting with the Australian scientific community, learning about new (to me) fields and projects and supporting scientists to get the most out of their research and data.”
At EMBL-EBI, Melissa also contributed to a number of ELIXIR projects, including the Biocuration Implementation Study and the FAIR training working group, and worked as a Scientific Curator for a short time on the ArrayExpress and Expression Atlas projects.
Prior to joining EMBL-EBI, she spent four years as a postdoctoral researcher investigating tuberculosis at the National Institute for Medical Research in London (now part of The Francis Crick Institute).
She has a PhD in Molecular Parasitology from the University of Queensland, a Master’s in Clinical Microbiology and a Bachelor’s of Biomedical Science, both from Griffith University.
More recently, she completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning Technologies at the University of Leicester, which taught her more about the theory of learning and how to design effective training programs.
QCIF warmly welcomes Melissa to the team.
The Australian BioCommons is a new digital capability to enhance Australian researchers’ ability to understand the molecular basis of life across environmental, agricultural and biomedical science.
Supported by Bioplatforms Australia, Australian BioCommons represents a large-scale investment in digital infrastructure to ensure national life science research remains globally competitive. Partnerships, including those with QCIF and RCC, are providing access to the tools, methods and training researchers require to respond to national challenges such as food security, environmental conservation and disease treatments.