It is the end of the year again and it is a good time to review my 2020. I wrote one for 2019. It has been a tough year for many of us. It is the same for me. I switched my job from Harvard FAS informatics to Department of Data Science at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute during the shutdown because of COVID19 at the end of March and has been working from home since then. I am grateful for my stay in the Harvard FAS informatics group. Tim has been super supportive and the collaboration with Catherine Dulac’s lab was exciting. I learned a lot about single-cell analysis.
It is a weird feeling that I have not been to the office since I joined Shirley’s group, but I have to say it turned out to play well. I am thankful that Shirley thought of me to join her team to lead the bioinformatics effort of the Cancer Immunologic Data Commons (CIDC) project. It is a complicated project and involves many parties. I decided to take the challenge and made the mind to improve myself. It is also my great honor to interact with the software team led by Ethan Cerami and James Linsay for this project. I learned tremendously from them on the software side. To be honest, the job is not easy, but the good thing is that I have been learning a lot in many aspects. I learned a lot about cancer immunology, hiring, writing, managing, and communicating.
Still, I want to list some highlights for 2020.
My first co-first author computational paper is finally published in Cancer Cell. It means a lot to me. I was studying cancer molecular biology in my Ph.D. and made the jump to computational biology for my postdoc with Roel Verhaak when he was in MD Anderson Cancer Center. Computational training in Roel’s lab has paved a solid foundation for my work. I then published two other papers on evaluating single-cell cluster stability and fast analysis of single-cell ATAC-seq data.
I finished one statistics course and one big data course with Grade A from Harvard Extension School.
We did a five-week intensive bioinformatics training for the new hires in Shirley’s group. We hired 5 people in 3 months! I am a big fan of reproducible research. I gave a talk on reproducible computing during the training.
I did a presentation on our single-cell analysis pipeline MAESTRO in the Broad seminar and gave a talk in the PACT meeting for the CIMAC-CIDC project.
I had my foot wet on single-cell TCR-seq and BCR-seq analysis. The best way to learn how to analyze a type of NGS data is to analyze the data for a project. I learned a lot by googling and from our local experts Li Song in the same group.
I started to invest myself in career development. I had someone coach my communication skills and took a leadership course.
In the coming 2021, I want to make our CIDC bioinformatics team more successful, to make all the team members more sucessful. Of course, I should be writing more papers. I can see two co-first author papers, one first-author paper, and one senior author paper coming out. I always want to enhance my statistics background and I plan to go through Elements of Statistical Modeling for Experimental Biology. Most importantly, I will continue to try to be a better human, a better husband, a better father, and then a better researcher.
I wish everyone to have a safe and prosperous new year!