Project Description

A/Prof. Jessica Mar

The University of Queensland

What the heck is a Hackathon? How Hackathons promote creativity and community in bioinformatics

Getting started with bioinformatic software

Friday 5 July 2019

Associate Professor Jessica Mar is a Group Leader at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at The University of Queensland in Brisbane. The Mar group focuses on understanding variability in the transcriptome and how this informs regulation of cell phenotypes. Jess received her PhD in Biostatistics from Harvard University in 2008. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston (2008-2011), and an Assistant Professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York (2011-2018). Having only just relocated back to Australia as an ARC Future Fellow in July 2018, a major focus of her work is on modelling the aging process using single cell bioinformatics. Jess has received several awards, including a Fulbright scholarship (2003), the Metcalf Prize for Stem Cell Research from the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia (2017), and the LaDonne H. Shulman Award for Teaching Excellence (2017) from Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

By definition, a hackathon is a competition where teams compete against each other to find new solutions. But in reality, a hackathon is an opportunity to learn new skills, expand your network, and be creative. This talk will step through the basics of what a hackathon is, and why you might want to participate in these fun-filled events that have steadily become a global phenomenon. For bioinformatics, whether your skill level is either fresh (as in learned from this week alone) or expert, a hackathon can open up a multitude of doors to new friends, career paths, and more importantly, job opportunities that you may never knew existed.