Pierre-Guillaume Gourio-Jewell




Home Curriculum Vitae Cifre PhD Visual Genomics


" Extraordinary Science in an Extraordinary Location "

2014 : The lab is moving to the Graz University of Technology


The Sun center of Excellence For Visual Genomics is the Bioinformatics Research Center of theat the University of Calgary. Bioinformatics includes the study of genomics and post-genomics data by computation, visualization, and 3D modeling.


Visual Genomics is a part of the Research Program of Genome Canada which dedicates itself to developing and implementing a national strategy in genomics and proteonomics research.


"Genome Canada invests and manages large-scale research projects in key selected areas such as agriculture, environment, fisheries, forestry, health and new technology development. Genome Canada also supports research projects aimed at studying and analyzing the ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social issues related to genomics research (GE3DS). Besides, Genome Canada is also involved in the international Haplotype Map Project of which the goal is to develop a haplotype map of the humane genome - "HapMap" - which will describe the common patterns of human DNA sequence variation. According to Genome Canada, the HapMap is expected to be a key resource for researchers to use to find genes affecting health, disease, and responses to drugs and environmental factors. The information produced by the Project is made freely available."


DrChristoph Sensen, professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Calgary is Director of the Sun Center of Excellence for Visual Genomics.


The laboratory of Visual Genomics is one of the leading and best-funded bioinformatics research labs in the world as to the modellization of the Humane genome. Modellizations of DNA segments are studied by means of the world's first Java 3DTM enabled CAVE - recursive acronym for Cave Automatic Virtual Environement, a walk-in display unit which allows to create virtual reality 3D providing anatomical and molecular images : genome, organs, cells, organisms, ...


[The CAVE®, researched and developed by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Chicago as a tool for scientific visualization, has become the pinnacle of immersion systems in the virtual reality and is now produced commercially for Universities and Advance technology industry, an hundred installations in the world]


The team of Visual Genomics has pioneered the development of this 3D tool for the biology research and is working on expanding its capabilities to enable the CAVE to load volumetric data, including medical images such as MRI and CAT scans.

The project : "Here and now, the team works on the project of a quadridimensional modellization - three spacial dimensions, the fourth dimension being Time. With his team, Christoph Sensen works on finding a way to visualize the prodigious masses of data generated by genomic technologies and to model genetic disease patterns by creating fully integrated virtual-reality models of all aspects of disease.

This 4-D project will make it possible for investigators to immerse themselves directly within an organism, to “see” the inner workings of its genome and to study the way genetic changes affect the organism over time. Moreover, they will be able to navigate through surrounding data in a virtual reality landscape, and to interact with data in a user-friendly manner.
The virtual reality models of all aspects of disease will include medical information, advanced imaging data, test results such as biopsies and gene expression data and finally information about the structure, function and interactions of proteins.

Dr. Sensen’s team has become one of the few teams in the world with the computational power to successfully undertake this new 4-D project. The team expects to advance the field of genomic research, while developing a spin-off company that will market 4-D services to the global pharmaceutical industry."


These promising technologies are in full rise in Research and Industry.They are the dawn of a new generation and will appeal to excellence as regards mathematics and data processing applied to Science.


If you skipped the ludic aspect that one can find in working in such an environment, then surely it's now time to visit the CAVE® ... it is Sensentional !


Pierre-Guillaume Gourio-Jewell


2005 Summer student and "happy fellow slave" at Visual Genomics,

University of Calgary, Alberta Canada

Sources : Visual Genomics, Genome Canada, HapMap


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