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Mattaj outlines EMBL goals

Director general designate of EMBL says a priority is incorporating computational methods

Ned Stafford(scientistnews@yahoo.com)

Iain Mattaj, who was named last week as the next director general of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), says that one of his top priorities will be to incorporate computational methods into the EMBL system.

Mattaj, currently scientific director of the Heidelberg, Germany–headquartered EMBL, will take over the top post next May, when the term of the current director general Fotis C. Kafatos ends.

In an interview with The Scientist, Mattaj said that EMBL plans to combine detailed, quantitative, reductionist research with the synthetic approach of systems analysis. To achieve this goal, he said: "The essential key is to incorporate computational methods into as many of our activities as possible."

EMBL, a basic research institute funded by 16 European nations and Israel, is divided into five units: the main laboratory in Heidelberg, and what it calls "outstations" in Hinxton (the European Bioinformatics Institute), Grenoble, Hamburg, and Monterotondo...

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