Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have revolutionized genomic research over the last decade. With today’s NGS protocols and instruments, it has become economically feasible to simultaneously sequence even billions of fragments of a single sample, enabling studies of genomes and transcriptomes at a previously unknown depth and level of detail.
The Biomedical Sequencing Facility (BSF) is Austria’s first technology platform dedicated to NGS in biomedicine and is thus expected to play a catalyzing role in the country’s development of genomic medicine. The BSF provides technological expertise and bioinformatic services and facilitates access to state-of-the-art post-genomic technologies for life scientists and clinicians. Furthermore, it contributes to several flagship projects aimed at establishing proof-of-concept for genomic medicine in Austria.
Christoph Bock joined CeMM as Principal Investigator in 2012. Since 2021, he has also been appointed Professor of [Bio]Medical Informatics at the Medical University of Vienna. His research combines experimental biology (high-throughput sequencing, epigenetics, CRISPR screening, synthetic biology) with computational methods (bioinformatics, machine learning, artificial intelligence) for cancer, immunology, and precision medicine. Before coming to Vienna, he was a postdoc at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (2008–2011) and a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics (2004–2008). Christoph Bock is also scientific coordinator of the Biomedical Sequencing Facility of CeMM and MedUni Vienna, Informatics Group Leader at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases (LBI-RUD), fellow of the European Lab for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS), and elected member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He has received major research awards, including the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society (2009), an ERC Starting Grant (2016– 2021), an ERC Consolidator Grant (2021–2026), and the Overton Prize of the International Society for Computational Biology (2017).
Michael Schuster trained as a biochemist and received his PhD from the University of Vienna in 2003. From 2004 to 2012, he was staff scientist at the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge, UK for the Ensembl Genome Browser project led by Ewan Birney. He focused on the systematic quality assessment of automated genome annotation builds that informed decisions throughout build stages for the high-quality and high-information genome assemblies for human, mouse and zebrafish. Since the genomic context revealed further inconsistencies in up-stream data resources, he collaborated with biocurators at the EMBL-EBI, particularly UniProt and the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus on data quality issues.
Michael joined the Biomedical Sequencing Facility (BSF) at CeMM in 2013. As BSF Deputy Head and NGS bioinformatician, he is responsible for the data analysis service of genome, transcriptome and epigenome data sets that the BSF produces for research groups at CeMM, the Medical University of Vienna and the wider scientific community in Austria and Europe.