Dr. Olfa Messaoud
Institut Pasteur de Tunis
Olfa Messaoud, MSc, PhD, is an Associate Professor working in Institut Pasteur de Tunis in the field of Human genetics. She is member of the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities, member of the Network of Tunisian Experts in Support to International Research & Innovation Projects and also member of the DNA Repair Interest Group.
During the last 13 years, Olfa has been working on the molecular basis of rare DNA-repair diseases. Her research activities paved the way to the set-up of prenatal diagnosis for several life-threatening diseases. Furthermore, she has helped many researchers from the neighboring countries (Morocco, Egypt, Libya and Algeria) to introduce molecular diagnosis for several non-communicable diseases that are quite frequent in their countries.
After being recruited as a full-time researcher, she has worked on establishing a department dedicated to genetic diagnosis of non-communicable diseases. Olfa is currently conducting her research activities on genetic investigation of rare and ultra-rare genetic disorders predisposing to cancer in the laboratory of “Biomedical Genomics and Oncogenetics” and she is also responsible for the medical genetics core facility in Institut Pasteur de Tunis.
Olfa is being involved as the principal investigator or a partner in many multidisciplinary national and international research projects. She has participated to the organization of several international courses and Scientific & Public events and is continuously coordinating research activities between Tunisian and foreign students.
Olfa Messaoud is an author/ co-author of more than 30 publications and is a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals, she has been awarded the 2nd prize of the 13th edition of the award Sanofi-Aventis for Medical Research.
Biology in the era of big data
My talk will deal with the new concepts related to biology in the era of big data.Indeed, biology is experiencing a revolution that has turned it from an experimentalscience to a predictive science. Nowadays, the biologist is no longer the researcherdoing his experiments on a laboratory bench, he is, rather, taped behind his computerand dedicating all his time to design biological models and to analyze data. Thus, thebiologist becomes theoretician rather than practitioner.In the other hand, experiments are conducted by robots monitored by engineers andare continuously generating huge amounts of data “big data”. The large amount of datagenerated by the platforms requires very advanced mathematical models to analyze thebiological data. This has given birth to bioinformatics and later to bio-simulation.These new disciplines which are combining biology, mathematics and computersciences should be well promoted starting from the investment in the creation of newmultidisciplinary courses and masters to the reinforcement of interdisciplinaryresearch and collaborations.