Ann Loraine

AnnLoraineAnn is a classically trained molecular biologist who discovered a love for programming and building tools while a postdoctoral trainee at the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project in the late 1990s.

After working in industry as a software engineer and bioinformatics scientist, she returned to academia in 2004. She is now an Associate Professor at UNC Charlotte in the College of Computing and Informatics. She leads an interdisciplinary research team based at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, located around 20 miles northeast of Charlotte.

Like many of her colleagues in CCI, Ann does a lot of programming, mainly focused on data analysis projects and visualization software development.

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Biography

Ann Loraine’s home town is Austin, Texas. She attended high school at SF Austin High School and spent her senior year at Chiswick Community School in London. After winning a Dedman Merit Scholarship, she returned to Austin to attend the University of Texas at Austin, where she majored in zoology and Plan II, an honors liberal arts program.

After college she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend graduate school at UC Berkeley. In 1996, she earned a Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. Around then, she became fascinated with using computers to do biology research. Instead of doing a traditional postdoc, she took time out to learn programming by taking computer science classes at UC Berkeley. She also worked part-time for the DNA Files, public radio documentaries on genetics.

In 1997 she joined the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project, where she wrote visualization applets (in Java) for the project Web site.  In 1999, she joined Neomorphic Software, a bioinformatics software company started by BDGP alumni Gregg Helt, Cyrus Harmon, and Martin Reese, also co-founder of personal genomics company Omicia. At Neomorphic, Ann helped write Annotation Station, a visualization and curation tool researchers at TIGR (now JCVI) used to annotate the first version of the Arabidopsis genome. (Ann wrote the Gene Editor part.)

When Affymetrix bought Neomorphic in 2001, Ann re-joined the new company as a Bioinformatics Scientist. At Affymetrix, she contributed to articles on probe set annotation (NetAffx), alternative splicing, and genome data visualization.

In 2004, Ann returned to academia as an assistant professor in
Biostatistics and Genetics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. At UAB, she did research and taught in the Section on Statistical Genetics. In 2008, she joined the North Carolina Research Campus as an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Bioinformatics and Genomics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Here’s is a photo of the team at Neomorphic:

Neomorphic Software