Shijulal Nelson-Sathi – Laureate of the 2015 SIB Early Career Bioinformatician Award

Shijulal was a Postdoc in the lab of Prof. William F. Martin at the Heinrich Heine University in Germany. His research project on “Major gene fluxes in prokaryote evolution” led to several publications, which was honoured by the award.

Today, Shijulal is the Principal Investigator of the Computational Biology Laboratory at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala in India. Together with his team, he uses an integrative approach evolutionary biology approach to study disease biology. To learn more about the different research projects in Shijulal’s group, visit their webpage and follow @Nelson_Sathi on Twitter.

About the SIB Bioinformatics Awards and our interview series “Meet the past SIB Awards Laureates”

Started in 2008 as an initiative to distinguish young bioinformaticians in Switzerland, the SIB Bioinformatics Awards have gone a long way since: from a single national award to three different prizes today, honouring 1) international early career bioinformaticians (SIB Early Career Bioinformatician Award), 2) excellency within the Swiss PhD community (SIB Best Swiss Bioinformatics Graduate Paper Award) and 3) innovative bioinformatics resources (SIB Bioinformatics Resource Innovation Award). Throughout the years, 21 awards have been presented, with nine laureates recognized for their outstanding early career, ten Graduate students for their excellent publication and two bioinformatics resources for their innovative aspect.
In 2019, the SIB Bioinformatics Awards will be presented for the 10th time, providing a great occasion to reach out to past laureates and ask them where they are now in their career: this interview is part of a series inviting you to meet past SIB Bioinformatics Awards laureates.

At which point of your career were you when you received the SIB Award? How did it feel? What was the key interest of your research at this time point?

I received the award during my postdoc with Prof William F Martin. It was definitely a fascinating experience receiving such an honour. At that time, we were trying to understand the role of inter-domain lateral gene transfers during archaeal genome evolution.

What are your current research interests?

Metagenomics and Bioinformatics to understand adaptation, transmission and evolution of antibiotic-resistance among microbes in a wide variety of environments.

In your personal opinion, what is the single most fascinating discovery made possible by bioinformatics?

It’s hard to choose only one. Bioinformatics is always an integral part of biological sciences...

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am a traveller.

Any words for the future generation of bioinformaticians?

Focus on AI-driven bioinformatics solutions!