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Plotly and Université de Sherbrooke to develop genomic visualization with innovation funding


MONTREAL, Aug. 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Plotly, a Montreal data visualization company, and Université de Sherbrooke will develop new research and analytical tools to explore and visualize genetic structures. Three interns, with support from Mitacs, will use Plotly's Dash product to develop new data visualization software in their research at the university's CoBIUS Lab.

Rapid developments in gene sequencing are producing growing levels of genomic data, leaving researchers in need of new models and tools to help them interactively explore that data, and curate and share results quickly. Plotly is developing its open-source data visualization library, Dash, for application in this growing area of research.

Dash is popular with bioinformaticians because it allows users to create and publish real-time, interactive data visualizations using only Python, a well-known language in the field.

"Plotly is grateful for the support from Mitacs, and we are excited to partner with Université de Sherbrooke for this project," said Jack Parmer, Plotly CEO. "Quebec has a real asset in its bioinformatics community, and we're happy to be able to provide training and resources to develop this important research."

Dr. Aïda Ouangraoua, Canada Research Chair in Computational and Biological Complexity at Université de Sherbrooke, said, "We thank Mitacs and Plotly for this internship funding and the partnership. They will accelerate the transfer of CoBIUS Lab research results to practice."

Dr. Ouangraoua will supervise one postdoc and two postgraduate interns in their research. CoBIUS Lab develops mathematical models and software tools to study and solve computational biology questions related to the comparison of biological data, with a focus on the evolution of genome structures, gene structures and RNA structures.

Plotly will provide training and access to its software engineers, who will assist the researchers with using Dash to visualize both the very small, such as RNA and gene structures, and the very large, like the evolutionary relationships between transcripts, genes and species.

Mitacs, a national not-for-profit research and training organization, is awarding the funding for the Plotly-CoBIUS Lab partnership through its internship program. Mitacs connects Canadian companies with graduate students and fellows who apply their specialized expertise to business challenges.

Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs, said:

"We're pleased to partner with Plotly to support the development of their innovative visualization platform, Dash, while also providing Université de Sherbrooke researchers with the opportunity to solve industry challenges that will prepare them for a successful transition to Quebec's growing digital technology job market."

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