In 1977, while doing my undergraduate study at Stellenbosch University, the crop physiology lecturer, Dr George Craven, asked his students to write a computer program to mimic plant growth using basic growth analysis principles. We used punch cards for a mainframe computer. My program eventually worked! The experience opened my eyes to the power and elegance of crop simulation modelling, and probably gave direction to my research interests and career. I am grateful for Dr Craven’s foresight and innovative thinking.
Dr. Abraham Singels | Principal Agronomist | South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI)
It is always complicated to identify a single experience with the biggest impact in a research career. In my case, the key moment was certainly when I decided to shift from the wet lab to bioinformatics and computational biology. This career move involved the combination of two passions, computers and biology, allowing me to explore a diverse range of problems. I was also extremely lucky to have a great PhD advisor and a brilliant postdoc supervisor at NCBI-NIH, who helped me develop the mindset to identify and tackle interesting biological problems.
Dr. Thiago M. Venancio | State University of Northern Rio de Janeiro, Brazil