In early October, Chris Mungall, who leads the Molecular Ecosystems Biology Department in Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology (EGSB), and members of his group hosted the biannual Gene Ontology Consortium (GOC) meeting. On the first day, the GO User Meeting brought together two groups: those who utilize GO and its associated tools in their work, and the developers and curators who work on the ontology and platform. More than 50 people gathered in Gray Auditorium for a full day of talks and breakout sessions on topics ranging from “What remains to be discovered in the eukaryotic proteome?” to “GO in space: Using functional annotations to analyze brain radiation exposure omics data.” In attendance were Berkeley Lab researchers from Biosciences and the Computational Research Division—as well as scientists and software developers from organizations across the US and Europe—providing a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas and form collaborations. The core GOC meeting, which focused on progress and future plans, took place October 8–10, followed by a meeting of the project PIs with the consortium’s scientific advisory board.
Established in 1998, the GOC was co-founded by retired EGSB researcher Suzanna Lewis. Its aim is developing a comprehensive computational model of biological systems, ranging from the molecular to the organism level, across the multiplicity of species in the tree of life. GO is one of the most widely used biological ontologies. Mungall took over as GO co-PI when Lewis retired earlier this year.