Curriculum Vitae

I am currently a full professor in Plant Cyberinfrastructure and Systems Biology in the Dept. of Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Toronto, 25 Willocks St. Toronto, ON. M5S 3B2. CANADA (see I am also the departmental chair.

I was director of the Collaborative Graduate Program in Genome Biology and Bioionformatics from 2006-2011. I facilitated the creation of an Undergraduate Specialist Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (together with Boris Steipe and Michael Brudno), and a Genome Biology Major (with Stephen Wright, David Guttman and others). I also created and maintain a site for Activities in Bioinformatics, Computational and Genome-Scale Biology. I teach two undergrad courses at the University of Toronto, CSB352H – Bioinformatic Methods and CSB472H – Computational Genomics and Bioinformatics. I run two Bioinformatic Methods courses on, in which more than 100,000 students have enrolled. A third more specialized course in Plant Bioinformatics is also available on, along with a Plant Bioinformatics Capstone. Together, these courses constitute a Specialization in Plant Bioinformatic Methods.

I am a member of the Centre for the Analysis of Genome Evolution and Function, the GBB Collaborative Program, the Multinational Arabidopsis Steering Committee, the North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee, and the International Arabidopsis Informatics Consortium.

I worked at the Torrey Mesa Research Institute of Syngenta Ltd. in San Diego as a bioinformatics scientist in the RNA Dynamics Department (January 2001-May 2002). My responsibilities included data analysis of gene expression microarray experiments, datamining of the gene expression microarray database, maintenance of the external TMRI website for gene expression microarray collaborations, development of various tools for improved visualisation of data and development of a database for managing external collaborations.

I worked as a Research Scientist at PlantTec Biotechnologie GmbH Forschung + Entwicklung, Potsdam, Germany (formerly part of Bayer CropScience) from November 1996 to December 2000. I was a project co-coordinator for a 2 year outsource from a large german life sciences company. Further responsibilities: ‘New Technologies Development Officer’ (genomics, internal database resources including an extensive Intranet site with several databases for plasmids/vectors, transformations, labbooks and patents. I also was involved in developing and programming a ‘knowledge’ database for our company) and doing consulting for an upscaling for the production of a glycosyltransferase.

I worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institut für Genbiologische Forschung in Berlin, Germany from May 1996 to October 1996. Biochemistry of a glycosyltransferase; I was also involved in helping to found PlantTec.

Ph.D. received from the Freie Universität of Berlin in April 1996. The work was carried out at the Institut für Genbiologische Forschung, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Lothar Willmitzer. Thesis: The Molecular Biology of Guard Cells in Solanum tuberosum. Grade: ‘sehr gut’. I started my studies in July 1993.

I received my Master’s degree in Science (M.Sc.) from the Department of Botany at the University of Toronto in 1993. Thesis: A Structure-Function Analysis of Pea Carbonic Anhydrase by Site-Directed Mutagenesis. Supervisor: Prof. Dr. John R. Coleman

I graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree (Honours) from the University of Toronto. During the third and fourth years of my program, I specialised in Molecular Genetics and Molecular Biology.