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I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh in Molecular Biology and my Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham in Genetics / Bioinformatics. My Ph.D. focused on the high throughput computational analysis of genomic data from all sequenced bacterial species in order to investigate the evolutionary history of codon usage in these organisms. I moved to Dresden, Germany in 2007 and currently lead the Scientific Computing Facility at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG). As a facility we are seven people with expertise ranging from the biological sciences, through to physics and computer science that provide bioinformatics, scientific software development and bio-image informatics services to the MPI-CBG and other institutes on the Dresden Biopolis Campus.