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Episode 15: Bioinformatics Unleashed - Decoding Microbial Mysteries

Featuring James Crill, Professor of Practice, Microbial Forensics, Syracuse University


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Show Notes:

In this episode, James Crill delves into the future of microbial forensics, emphasizing the importance of fully vetted databases for microbial forensics and the impact of rapid technological advancements. Mr. Crill discusses the evolution of sequencing technologies, from large laboratory equipment to more mobile and efficient technologies. He underscores the urgency for data validation and authentication due to the influx of diverse data and the ongoing changes in sequencing technologies. Crill closes by discussing the importance of studying microbial forensics and microbial communities, emphasizing the need for continued research and development of new techniques in this field.


James Crill at microscope in lab

James E. Crill II, BS

Professor of Practice, Forensic Science, Syracuse University

As a professor and principal investigator of a microbial forensics laboratory, Professor Crill is deeply engaged in advancing the frontiers of microbial attribution studies and genomics. Their primary interest lies in leveraging cutting-edge genomic sequencing technologies and bioinformatics tools to trace the origins of pathogenic microorganisms. Through their research, Professor Crill aims to develop robust methodologies for the identification and differentiation of microbial strains, facilitating accurate attribution in cases of bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and biosecurity threats. Their work not only contributes to the global understanding of microbial ecology and evolution but also plays a crucial role in enhancing public health responses and forensic investigations. Collaborating closely with interdisciplinary teams, Professor Crill strives to push the boundaries of microbial forensics, contributing to the development of innovative strategies for disease identification and attribution.


David Yarmosh, headshot.

David Yarmosh, MS

Lead Bioinformatician, ATCC

David Yarmosh is a senior bioinformatician in ATCC’s Sequencing and Bioinformatics Center. He’s a graduate of New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. He has been working in large data aggregation and analysis since 2013 and microbial genomics with a focus on biosurveillance R&D efforts since 2016. David has led international training exercises in Peru and Senegal, sharing metagenomic analytical capabilities. His interests include genomics database construction, metadata collection, drug resistance mechanisms, bioinformatics standards, and machine learning. Since joining ATCC in 2020, he has helped develop the podcast Behind the Biology, which he now hosts.

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