The National Library of Medicine has awarded School of Information and Library Science doctoral student John MacMullen a multi-year biomedical informatics fellowship, which will begin this spring. The award will fund MacMullen's dissertation research which will be a collaborative effort between himself and Stanford University 's Department of Genetics and the Gene Ontology Consortium.
“The amounts of biological data and scientific publication from different specialties have grown tremendously in the past decade,” MacMullen said. “This makes it difficult for scientists to bring together related information from multiple organisms. Some researchers are addressing the problem with manually-curated relationships using Gene Ontology annotations. Our work investigates ways to evaluate the effectiveness and quality of annotations made by scientific curators. This may lead to better information integration across databases.”
The fellowship will begin this spring and will give MacMullen the opportunity to conduct experiments on annotation quality in model organism databases, and includes a stipend and reimbursements for tuition, fees, insurance, travel and research expenses.
MacMullen earned his MSIS. from SILS in 1997, and holds a B.S. from Northeastern University. He has been a member of the Annotation Research group at SILS since 2004. He worked as a project manager in the data communications industry for several years before returning to UNC as a research fellow at the Health Sciences Library, and then entering the doctoral program in 2002.