Ann Loraine

AnnLoraineAnn Loraine, Ph.D. is Professor of Bioinformatics and Genomics in the College of Computing and Informatics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Dr. Loraine earned her Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Cell Biology in 1996 and did postdoctoral work in bioinformatics at the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project. Following her postdoc, she joined a bioinformatics company called Neomorphic that was later purchased by Affymetrix, a microarray company.

In 2004, she returned to academia to start a research program with two goals: (1) build and support visualization software for genomics, and (2) understand how alternative splicing affects gene function.

Autobiography (first person biography, and longer)

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

After college I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend graduate school at UC Berkeley,  where I did research in plant biology with Prof. Wilhelm Gruissem. In my spare time, I enjoyed organizing techno music parties with friends.

In 1996, I graduated with a Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. Around then, I became fascinated with using computers to do biology research. Instead of doing a traditional postdoc, I took time out from research to learn programming. I also worked part-time for the DNA Files, public radio documentaries on genetics, and as a personal care assistant for disability justice activist Patty Berne.

In 1997 I joined the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project, where I wrote visualization applets (in Java) for the project Web site.  In 1999, I joined Neomorphic, a bioinformatics software company started by BDGP alumni. At Neomorphic, I helped write Annotation Station, a visualization and curation tool researchers at TIGR (now JCVI) used to annotate the first version of the Arabidopsis genome. (I wrote the Gene Editor part.)

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

In 2004, I returned to academia as an assistant professor in Biostatistics and Genetics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. At UAB, I did research and taught in the Section on Statistical Genetics. In 2008, I moved UNC Charlotte to join the newly formed Dept. of Bioinformatics and Genomics.

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

Neomorphic Software

Here is a photo of the Loraine Lab in 2014: