January 2018

Editor - Barbara Kramarz

We welcome Dr Paola Roncaglia

We welcome to our team Dr Paola Roncaglia, a Scientific Curator from the Samples, Phenotypes and Ontologies team at EMBL-EBI. Paola is an experienced GO editor with a strong background in high-throughput data analysis. She has been working with Barbara and Ruth on the Alzheimer’s Research UK-funded project since October, making herself familiar with details of this work’s challenges and advising Barbara on her ontology development tasks.

Neurological Gene Ontology Development

Barbara began her GO editor training last October, and has been working on ontology development since mid-November. All ontology changes resulting from this work are checked by experienced GO developers prior to merging them with the public database. In addition, any issues that arise are discussed and resolved during weekly Ontology Developers’ Calls. Barbara has already made substantial contributions in this area, for instance, by redefining ‘GO:0048488 synaptic vesicle endocytosis’, and adding its new child terms ‘GO:0150007 clathrin-dependent synaptic vesicle endocytosis’ and ‘GO:0150008 bulk synaptic vesicle endocytosis’ to the ontology (Figure 1).


Protein Annotation Progress

The first annotation objective of this project has been to annotate at least thirty proteins implicated in tau-relevant processes. Barbara has been performing literature searches to identify research articles describing the roles of the prioritised proteins in tau-relevant processes, and she has been capturing their roles using GO terms.

Based on the EBI statistics, 2nd January 2018, 783 ARUK-UCL GO annotations have been associated with 95 entities since tau-related annotation started in July 2017. Among these, 672 GO annotations have been used to describe 68 human proteins, including 12 proteins from the priority list.


Ruth and Rachael co-organise a ten week MSc module ‘Understanding bioinformatics resources and their application’. All members of the Functional Gene Annotation UCL team: Ruth, Rachael, Nancy and Barbara have been involved in developing and running practical hands-on teaching sessions, as well as preparing and giving lectures and/or tutorials during the autumn term.

Meetings attended

2-4 October 2017: Paola, Barbara and Ruth attended the Gene Ontology Consortium (GOC) meeting in Cambridge, UK.

21 November 2017: Barbara and Ruth hosted a project meeting with neurobiology experts Professors John Hardy (UCL) and Nigel Hooper (University of Manchester) as well as Dr Rina Bandopadhyay. This successful meeting led to agreements about the project priorities for the next 6 months. The next project meeting will be in March 2018, before the ARUK 2018 Conference in London. We have submitted an abstract to present a poster at the ARUK 2018 Conference; please look for our poster and come and talk to us about the project.

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