Janna Hastings

I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, spending my free time outdoors climbing the mountains and swimming in the sea. I completed a BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Cape Town and then left academia to work in IT for a few years while studying part-time for firstly an Honours and subsequently an MSc in Computer Science. I moved to the UK to join the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in 2006, and it was there, as a member of the Cheminformatics and Metabolism group, that I developed a deep interest in the complex relationship between the “exposome” and the “phenome” in the contexts of diet, exercise and health. For the past few years at EMBL-EBI I have been active in the development of standards and ontologies across various communities.

Now, I am delighted to have the opportunity to deepen my understanding of metabolism and develop computational approaches as a PhD student in the Casanueva and Le Novère groups. For my PhD, I will be working on whole-genome models of the metabolism of the model organism C. elegans and using those models to generate testable hypotheses of differentially active pathways and phenotypic outcomes under different dietary and environmental conditions. I will also be investigating novel methods for integrating large-scale -omics data with metabolic models. When not in the office I enjoy running, hiking (in the summer) and skiing (in the winter), playing piano (badly), travelling, good food, music, art and theatre, family and friends.