Alumni Profile: Fiona Brinkman

Fiona Brinkman, PhD
BSc Biochemistry '90
Distinguished Professor,
Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry,Fiona Brinkman
Simon Fraser University,
Burnaby, BC

Fiona Brinkman is a Distinguished Professor in Bioinformatics and Genomics at Simon Fraser University, most known for R&D of widely used computer software that aids more integrative analyses of microbe and human genomics data. Dr. Brinkman currently leads integration of diverse data for the National CHILD Study – the largest birth cohort of its kind profiling healthy children in Canada. She co-leads development of the IRIDA.ca platform, which is now used as the primary platform for Canada’s Public Health Agency to track infectious disease outbreaks using combined epidemiological/lab/genomics data. She co-ordinates two large consortiums involving over 15 countries, enabling better genomic data sharing in an ethical framework. Earlier, Dr. Brinkman was the first to phylogenetically root the Tree of Life using a duplication within a gene. She has a strong interest in developing more preventative, sustainable approaches for disease control, and also in bioinformatics education and mentoring young scientists. She is on several committees and boards, including chairing the European Nucleotide Archive Scientific Advisory Board. Her awards include a TR100 award from MIT, Thompson Reuters “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds”, Canada’s Who’s Who, Canada’s Top 100 Women, and most recently became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.