Profile – Dr Barbara Kramarz

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Dr Barbara Kramarz

Job Title:

Gene Ontology Biocurator

Place of work / study:

UCL Functional Gene Annotation Team

Area of Research:

Curation of knowledge about cellular processes impaired in dementia

How is your research funded:

Alzheimer’s Research UK

Tell us a little about yourself:

I have been working on curation of dementia-relevant knowledge since early 2017, having previously contributed to functional annotation of proteins implicated in Parkinson’s disease, and microRNAs involved in regulation of cardiovascular processes. I am also involved in teaching about Gene Ontology and other bioinformatics resources, as a part of the Genetics of Human Disease MSc course, and during a two-day workshop. In my spare time, I occasionally contribute to the BioNews, focusing on biomedical and genetics news.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I picked up the violin a year and a half ago, having had no prior musical experience whatsoever. Initially my neighbours were not impressed, but I’ve since progressed sufficiently to play with the East London Late Starters Orchestra.

Why did you choose to work in dementia?

Dementia is an incurable life-changing condition, which arises due to impairments in a number of cellular and molecular processes. In recent decades high-throughput ‘-omics’ and genome-wide studies yielded large numbers of dementia risk genes. Genetic datasets resulting from these studies can be analysed using Gene Ontology (GO) to identify cellular processes and pathways, which the risk genes may have in common, and which could be targeted to treat the condition; however, dementia-relevant knowledge has not yet been comprehensively curated using GO. My goal is to enhance the GO resource to aid analyses of dementia risk genes, which will allow to better prioritise further research objectives, bringing us another step closer to developing new targeted treatments for dementia.

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