Peter Little on The Future of Genomics
  Peter Little     Biography    
Recorded: 30 May 2003

But I think in the next three or four years what we’ll see is more and more mathematicians doing biology and helping us with biology. I think the easiest way of putting it is it’s simply impossible to even describe some of the data that we have. If you’re trying to talk about five thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand data points, we don’t have the description for that in the words of normal languages.

And so that means that the mathematicians have to come in. And biology would become more and more mathematical because we just need a vocabulary. And so, I think, even in three years time you’ll see more and more mathematicians. They’re already there. And there’s more. Some mathematicians were with me in my lab and five years ago that would have been inconceivable. It just wouldn’t have happened. So I would just make the simple prediction that in three years times, we’ll have more people who would be talking almost in a mathematical way about the results of biological experiments.

Peter Little is a bioinformatics researcher, professor of medical biochemistry and the head of the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He received his Ph.D. working with recombinant DNA under Ed Southern and Peter Walker at Edinburgh University. In 1976, Little cloned a human gene – the second time this was ever accomplished.

Little’s laboratory studies the genetic basis of gene expression, and genetic variation as it pertains to the regulatory regions of the genes. He has hypothesized that there are two types of genetic variation that alter gene expression. His lab has also created advanced techniques for testing genetically influenced transcript variations.

He comes to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory regularly for genome meetings and symposia.