As we come to the end of 2011, several members of the Genome Biology Editorial Board give their views on the state of play in genomics

David Adams, Bonnie Berger, Olivier Harismendy, Curtis Huttenhower, Shirley X. Liu, Chad Myers, Alicia Oshlack, John Rinn, Marian Walhout

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


As we come to the end of 2011, Genome Biology has asked some members of our Editorial Board for their views on the state of play in genomics. What was their favorite paper of 2011? What are the challenges in their particular research area? Who has had the biggest influence on their careers? What advice would they give to young researchers embarking on a career in research?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number137
JournalGenome biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 24 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Finally the last challenge is to transform the academic review system in our institutions. Traditional institutions expect faculty to lead independent projects typically funded through the R01 NIH grants. However, genomics has traditionally functioned differently, following the principle of team science, where multiple principle investigators contribute to a large endeavor. This was the case for the Human Genome Project and The HapMap project, and today the 1000 Genome Consortium and The Cancer Genome Atlas, for example. This ‘big science’ is usually financed through alternative sources of funding requiring collaborations and multiple principle investigators, and the results do not always lead to first or last author publications for the majority of the participants despite their essential roles. Traditional institutions that promote faculty based on R01 awards and last author publications do not always recognize this aspect. This divergence does not favor the retention of brilliant researchers in academic genomic research. Some institutions, such as Harvard or The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, have established alternative academic review criteria that recognize participation in team science and allow investigators to successfully grow in this environment. At the time when funding is becoming scarce and more directed to specific projects, let’s hope that more institutions will follow these examples.


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