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Forum: In YOUR personal opinion, who are the top 5 bioinformatics researchers in NGS in 21st century?
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Update Well, it seems like many people get confused in this question. Let me rephrase it a bit.

Suppose you are willing to train yourself to be a top bioinformatician in NGS. And assume that you could get any offer around the world using sort of super-natural power. What are the 5 principal investigators you would like to work with in your mind? Although I believe this question means the same as the original question, your personal top 5. End

This is my favorite question to begin a chat with junior researchers in a conference. Note that:

(1) This is really a personal opinion. I am not seeking for a putative rank. It is something like soccer players are often asked the best squad in their opinion in interviews.

(2) I restrict the scope within the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) or other high throughput techniques research after the year of 2000, neither general bioinformatics nor those before 21st century.

(3) Feel free to share your top 10 if you had the list before seeing my question, or top 3 if you don't have a top 5, whatever.

(4) You are encouraged to share your colleagues' opinions.

(5) I will come back to collect the answers at the end of 2017.

I do the first:

ADD COMMENTlink 3.1 years ago AptRank • 10
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I feel this is not going to be useful. Many people don't know everyone. They might know the author names of the tools they are using in their research but it's not necessarily the top bioinformaticians. It's not the right way or correct platform to conduct such polls.

It could be like "your favourite bioinformatician or favourite tool" but not "top".

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
geek_y
9.7k
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Since "many people don't know everyone", that's why I am asking this question to widen my narrow view. I expect to see lots of answers different from my list.

"They might know the author names of the tools they are using in their research but it's not necessarily the top bioinformaticians." I have mentioned in my post that I don't look for a list of "putative" top bioinformaticians. Why do you still misunderstand that? You are highly welcome to share the authors of the tools you often use. That's just what I want here.

For sure I know there is no good metric (why you delete this word from your post?) to fairly evaluate each bioinformatician because this is really a subjective question. If there was such a metric, there would be no need for me to ask here.

You suggest "your favorite" is the right word. By definition, favorite involves comparison. You cannot get your favorite bioinformatician without doing any subjective comparison.

I respect every scholar, no matter whether they have significant contributions to the community or not. I don't mean that the researchers not in my list are not top bioinformaticians. Can't we personally compare researchers in a respectful way? If so, how does Nobel prize committee vote the laureates? Of course, they do it anonymously. If you don't wanna vote because you register your account with your real name, please leave it alone!

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
AptRank
• 10
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I do not have problem with voting and does not matter if I have my real name, and many have real names here, but I do not have enough knowledge to say who is "top" bioinformatician. I do not know the metric to say "top bioinformatician". Anyways, I am not stopping others to vote. I just told my opinion.

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
geek_y
9.7k
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Maybe you should add Heng Li to your list. Anyways I agree with the above comment.

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
poisonAlien
♦ 2.8k
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I would suggest another approach. The most influential bioinformatics researchers would in my opinion be those of which the tools are used the most. You can see which authors of bioinformatic tools have been cited the most, or which are mentioned the most in literature, perhaps starting from all tools in https://omictools.com/ (which I think is a quite complete database of tools).

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
WouterDeCoster
39k
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What do you mean by 'top'? Most influential? Most useful software? Most popular software? Most significant biological discovery? Most significant contribution to the community? Applied or theoretical?

Each of these criteria would yield different personnel with relatively little overlap, so the utility of this exercise is unclear. Perhaps you'd like to explain your objective?

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
harold.smith.tarheel
♦ 4.4k
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It doesn't need to be so specific. I am just curious about what other people are focusing on. If I am lucky to get 10,000 answers here, some researchers may gain sort of statistical significance. It is just like a list of bestseller book authors. You are also welcome to vote your advisor or even yourself.

It will be good enough if you could share the "personnel" within the "relatively little overlap" as you mentioned, or the names that pop up in your mind when you see this question at the first sight.

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
AptRank
• 10
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Here's an example to illustrate the futility of this exercise absent any criteria. One could reasonably argue that the application of Burrows-Wheeler transformation to the problem of sequence alignment was one of the most significant advances in the field at that time. Should I list Michael Burrows and David Wheeler for their theoretical contribution, or Heng Li for the development of its practical application (BWA), or perhaps Steve Salzberg for the simultaneous development of a different application (Bowtie)? Or all of them (but that's four names already for just one advancement)?

Again, what is your objective? Is it merely a word cloud of the names of bioinformaticists, or do you have something more specific in mind?

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
harold.smith.tarheel
♦ 4.4k
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Good to know the history of sequence alignment from you! You are not committed to list all of them. If you see somebody lists some names you'd love to know but you don't, then just upvote.

This is just a cloudsourcing survey. And you are right, "it is merely a word cloud of the names of bioinformaticists".

My objective is to see some big names different from my list. Those names may be the ones I should know but I don't, especially in Europe.

See my update in my post. It makes more sense now.

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
AptRank
• 10
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Good to know the history of sequence alignment from you!

?? Not even close to a history - I just mentioned one alignment method (among several) as an example.

But thanks on the clarification of your objective. I suspected as much.

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
harold.smith.tarheel
♦ 4.4k
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That makes sense. If you say, 5 bioinformaticians that pops in mind, many people would be interested to answer.

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
geek_y
9.7k
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"In YOUR personal opinion, what are the 5 bioinformaticians' names in NGS in 21st century that pop up in your minds?"

Like that? I think this is a nonsense title, unless we say "the 5 famous bioinformaticians' names". Then the question becomes whether "famous" means "top"... endless loop

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
AptRank
• 10
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I am trying to help but its going nowhere. Good luck with your survey.

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
geek_y
9.7k
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Hi ambitiousjbb,

Perhaps you could consider being a bit more polite to someone who offers you his advice. Thanks!

Wouter

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
WouterDeCoster
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Suppose you are willing to train yourself to be a top bioinformatician in NGS

Can one really do that (top part, that is)?

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
genomax
68k
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1-5: Me, obviously. ;)

ADD REPLYlink 3.1 years ago
pld
4.8k
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1- Brian Haas at The Broad Institute and his Trinity, Transdecoder and . . .

enter image description here

ADD COMMENTlink 3.1 years ago Farbod ♦ 3.3k

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