Parker Antin: Leading Life Science Initiatives

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Not each investigate or record plan can exaggerate that a executive also heads adult inhabitant initiatives in life sciences and biotechnology. The University of Arizona‘s Parker Antin is a singular case.


Antin leads a iPlant Collaborative, a UA-headquartered computational infrastructure plan that is a National Science Foundation‘s premier information government service.

A highbrow of mobile and molecular medicine and member of a UA’s BIO5 Institute, Antin serves as associate vanguard for investigate for a UA’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, or CALS, and he is president-elect of the Federation of Societies for Experimental Biology, or FASEB, an powerful scholarship process and advocacy classification that represents 27 systematic societies and 125,000 scientists.

“Antin’s different investigate credentials creates him a ideal choice as principal investigator,” pronounced Kimberly Andrews Espy, comparison clamp boss for investigate during a UA. “With 30 years of investigate that has spanned all from early bud growth to branch dungeon biology and bioinformatics, Antin will serve a enlargement of iPlant as a apparatus to know how life works from genome to phenome.”

A Life in Life Sciences

Antin warranted his doctorate from a University of Pennsylvania in 1982. After a postdoctoral position during a University of California, San Francisco, he assimilated a UA’s Department of Animal Sciences in 1992.

He was promoted to associate highbrow in 1998 and assimilated a UA College of Medicine, where he now oversees an active laboratory training connoisseur and postdoctoral researchers study growth of fundamental flesh and a cardiovascular complement — and mostly leveraging iPlant’s infrastructure.

“For a past 10 years, we have perceived National Institutes of Health appropriation to yield genomics-related resources to a avian investigate community,” Antin said. “Along with Eric Lyons, an iPlant co-principal investigator, and Fiona McCarthy, a expertise member in a UA’s School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, we have submitted a renovation extend focus that will raise a plan and confederate it into a iPlant infrastructure. Several other vast projects currently precedence iPlant in a identical manner.”

Antin also is a inhabitant disciple for scholarship process and funding. His roles as associate vanguard of CALS and boss of FASEB frequently take him to Washington, D.C., to disciple for scholarship process positions that raise a systematic enterprise.

Antin’s investigate is upheld by a National Institutes of Health, with past support from a U.S. Department of Agriculture, a American Heart Association, a National Aeronautic and Space Administration and a NSF.

Managing a Mission

At a helm of a UA-led iPlant Collaborative housed during a BIO5 Institute, Antin is operative to raise a capabilities and impact of a $100 million NSF computational infrastructure platform.

“As some-more fields of scholarship turn driven by a merger and investigate of really vast information sets, ways to store, share, analyze, and repository information and formula are apropos vicious roadblocks to systematic advancement,” Antin said. “iPlant provides a height for researchers to grasp these goals.”

iPlant was combined in 2008 by a NSF as a inhabitant computational infrastructure use for plant scientists. The platform’s capabilities and group of scientists and developers rendered it fast successful among an general plant scholarship community. In 2013, a strange NSF extend was renewed, along with a stretched gauge to yield information government services for tellurian life scholarship initiatives.

“iPlant’s idea has been to design, develop, muster and say a inhabitant cyberinfrastructure to capacitate simple and practical biological investigate and to sight scientists in a use,” Antin explained. “The challenge for a future is to dramatically scale adult a infrastructure while providing softened entrance to a resources and services that a users have come to appreciate.”

To grasp this directive, Antin is running a plan to emanate some-more worldly information scientists by charity high-level training, commission scientists with strong collection for data-driven discovery, and means an softened ecosystem of interoperability to safeguard that iPlant can confederate seamlessly with blurb and other educational resources.

That is a complicated order, it would seem, though given a inception, a iPlant Collaborative has grown and implemented a rarely organic infrastructure for a plant scholarship community, Antin said, ideally positioning a plan to turn an enabling apparatus for all life sciences.

When Antin initial was approached about apropos principal questioner of iPlant, he hesitated. Yet, “as we schooled some-more about iPlant’s stretched scope, we was vehement to be given a event to assistance pierce iPlant by a subsequent stages in a evolution,” he said.

“As we accommodate with iPlant staff, we am struck by a unrestrained we see for achieving this idea and with it a event to significantly raise systematic progress. Everyone compared with iPlant is driven by a intensity to truly renovate how life scholarship is conducted in a U.S. and around a world. Being asked to lead such a plan is an honor, and for certain a biggest plea of my career.”

Going forward, Antin said, “the technological hurdles are poignant (and) a payoffs can be transformational.”

In further to Antin, iPlant is destined by an executive group including co-principal investigators Nirav Merchant, executive of information record during Arizona Research Laboratories; Lyons, UA partner highbrow of plant sciences and creator of CoGe, a analogous genetics height that runs on iPlant’s infrastructure; Matt Vaughn of Texas Advanced Computing Center during a University of Texas, Austin; and Doreen Ware of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.

The iPlant Collaborative is a association of a University of Arizona, Texas Advanced Computing Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and a University of North Carolina, Wilmington. iPlant is saved by National Science Foundation endowment numbers DBI-0735191 and DBI-1265383.

Source: University of Arizona