Francesco Strozzi

Tell us about yourself.
I’m from Italy and my educational background is mainly in molecular biology, genomics and bioinformatics. I took my BSc degree in Molecular Biotechnology in 2003, followed by an MSc in Bioinformatics in 2005.

What is your role in RuminOmics?
I am responsible for the WP7, coordinating the data analysis and data management efforts of the project and developing pipelines for metagenomics data processing.

What interested you most about the project?
I was fascinated by the Ruminomics project as it offers a unique possibility to study and understand the complex composition of the rumen microbiome using cutting-edge sequencing technology.

What and/or who inspired you to make a career in science?
I do not remember a particular moment that inspired me to make a career in science. It was more like something natural to do. Since I was a child, I was interested in science, not only biology but also physics and informatics and I felt like all the other jobs would just have been less interesting to me.

What do you enjoy most about the work?
I think working in bioinformatics is just great. It always feels like living on the cutting-edge of research, since this is a field where we experience changes and advancements almost every 6 months. So there is no time to get bored. Also I love this particular work as it allows me to combine my research interests and passion for biology, with technology and informatics. I do not believe there are so many jobs where people are able to combine all these cool things together!

What is your most stand-out or surprising moment in science so far?
I think people in the genomics field would probably say “The Sequencing of the Human Genome”. I personally would say, “when in the last few years we first realized we could sequence 10 human genomes in 10 days at a fraction of the original cost of the Human Genome Project”. If compared to other incredible science results, the sequencing of the first human genome was like going to the Moon in the 1969. What we can do now in terms of sequencing whole genomes in few days with the new technologies is like having the possibility to going back and forth from Mars as we do from London to New York.

I do not think people outside the genomics field has fully realized how revolutionary these achievements are and how deep the impact of these results will be in the next 10 – 15 years.