Mark Pallen

Principal Invesitgator

Mark started academic life as a medical microbiologist, with training in medicine (BA from Cambridge MBBS, MD from London) and laboratory research (PhD in Gordon Dougan’s lab at Imperial College, during which he captained the winning team in University Challenge).

Tom Connor


Tom is a Professor at Cardiff University. He is a Big Data Biologist who has a background in the population genomics and molecular epidemiology of pathogenic bacteria. He obtained his PhD at Imperial, and was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute from 2010 to 2012.

Nick Loman


Nick is Professor of Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics at the University of Birmingham. His research explores the use of cutting-edge genomics and metagenomics approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and surveillance of infectious disease. Nick has so far used high-throughput sequencing to investigate outbreaks of important Gram-negative multi-drug resistant pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii and Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli. His current work focuses on the genetic diversity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in chronic lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis as a diagnostic and prognostic marker. A more general aim is to develop bioinformatics tools to aid the interpretation of genome and metagenome-scale data in routine clinical practice.

Christopher Quince


Chris comes from a physical-sciences background, with a PhD in theoretical physics. In recent years he has successfully turned his attention to bioinformatics problems in sequence-based analyses of microbial communities, with two highly cited papers on removing noise from pyrosequenced amplicons. He held a five-year EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship (2009-2014) entitled ‘Pioneering the new genomics era in environmental microbiology for engineering design.’ Chris is interested in Bayesian statistical approaches in microbial bioinformatics.

Andy Millard


In June 2016 Andy was promoted to Assistant Professor at Warwick Medical School. He then moved to the University of Leicester in September 2017 to a setup a lectureship.

Sam Sheppard


Sam is Professor and director of Bioinformatics (Milner Centre for Evolution) at the University of Bath and Co-I of CLIMB-BIG-DATA–the UKs largest cloud-based system for the analysis of microbial genomes.

Martin Antonio


Martin Antonio is Unit Molecular Biologist and Principal Investigator at the Medical Research Council Unit the Gambia at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Fajara, The Gambia. He serves as the Director, the WHO collaborating Centre for New Vaccines Surveillance and Heads the WHO Regional Reference Laboratory for Invasive Bacterial Diseases (IBD) for West and Central Africa. Martin also holds the position of Honorary Professor at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, UK. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (London, UK) and Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London, UK). His research is focused on the leverage of new molecular technologies in diagnosis of tropical infections, investigation of microbial transmission and clinical trials. Martin's group has led and participated in a growing number of large-scale international research projects, serving as the WHO reference laboratory for pneumococcal disease and establishing large disease surveillance platforms for bacterial infections across Africa.

Simon Ellwood-Thompson


Simon is Head of IT and Data Science at the Swansea University. He is a systems architect with experience in the NHS and academia. He is responsible for delivering the technical workstream for Swansea as part of the UK network of health e-research centres of excellence.

Nabil-Fareed Alikhan

Interim Head of Informatics (QIB)

Nabil is a the Interim Head of Informatics at the Quadram Institute (Norwich) and a Bioinformatics Scientific Programmer within the Core Bioinformatics at the QIB. He has dedicated his professional life to improving bioinformatic analyses and then using these improvements to find new insight into microbial pathogens. His current duties include developing bioinformatics infrastructure and novel algorithms.

Anna Price

Research Software Engineer

Anna has a background in the physical sciences, earning an MPhys in theoretical physics and a PhD in NEGF simulations of nanotransistors. Since 2017, she has been working as a Research Software Engineer in biosciences and medicine. She has an interest in developing open-source software for bioinformatics and big data problems in microbiology. In her role as a Research Software Engineer for CLIMB-BIG-DATA, she aims to create a repository of software and tools for microbial bioinformatics to support the CLIMB-BIG-DATA community.

Andrew Smith

Research Software Engineer

Andrew Smith is Research Software Engineer for CLIMB-BIG-DATA, working at the University of Birmingham. He is currently working on the user interface (Bryn), on the ticketing system and on the S3 object storage.

The CLIMB-BIG-DATA project includes funding for two Research Softwares Engineers, who will provide vital skills for microbial genomics research including mathematical modelling, population genetics, computer science and bioinformatics.

Lisa Marchioretto

CLIMB-BIG-DATA Project Manager

Lisa has a BSc and an MSc in Molecular Biology, and a PhD in Epigenomics. In 2014 she became a project manager for the Italian €30million, 70-partner EPIGEN-CNR Flagship Project, which ended in summer 2019. She moved to the Quadram in 2017 to manage the MRC-CLIMB project. She has a solid experience in the coordination, follow-up and reporting of the administrative, financial and scientific aspects of a Project, as well as in the organization and follow-up of scientific and dissemination events.

Fran Terry

Cloud Computing Manager

Swansea University

Radoslaw Poplawski

Cloud Computing Manager

University of Birmingham

Richard Stark

User Support Specialist and Cloud Computing Manager

University of Warwick

Simon Thompson

Research Computing Infrastructure Architect

University of Birmingham

Simon works in research computing at the University of Birmingham. He has interests in high-performance computing, research data management. He set up up the Birmingham node of the CLIMB system and blogs about his experiences and frustrations with OpenStack on his personal blog, RoamingZebra.

Ewan Short

CLIMB-BIG-DATA Project Assistant

Ewan has a BSc in Computing Science from the University of East Anglia. He has interests in web development and project management.

CLIMB-BIG-DATA serves more than 1,000 users and over 300 research groups across at least 85 research institutions:

  • Aberystwyth University
  • Aberystwyth University
  • Agrifood and Biosciences Institute
  • Animal and Plant Health Agency
  • Birmingham Heartlands Hospital
  • Birmingham University
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Cardiff University
  • CEH Wallingford
  • Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • Department For International Trade
  • Edge Hill University
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • Environment Agency
  • Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Imperial College London
  • Institute of Food Research
  • James Hutton Research Institute
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • King's College London
  • Kingston university
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Microbiology Society
  • Middlesex University
  • Newcastle University
  • Northumbria University
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Oxford University
  • PHE Birmingham (Heartlands Hospital)
  • Plymouth University
  • Public Health England, Colindale
  • Public Health England, Porton Down
  • Public Health Wales NHS Trust
  • Quadram Institute Bioscience
  • Queen's university Belfast
  • Royal Veterinary College
  • St George's University of London
  • Swansea University
  • Teesside University
  • The James Hutton Institute
  • The Open University
  • The Royal Veterinary College
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • The University of Northampton
  • University College London
  • University of Bath
  • University of Bedfordshire
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bolton
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of East London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Kent
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Lincoln
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Northumbria at Newcastle
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Reading
  • University of Salford
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of South Wales
  • University of Southampton
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Sussex
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Westminster
  • University of York
  • Univesity of Edinburgh
  • Univesrity of Warwick
  • Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute