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Shawn Michael Burgess 2018 Election Statement
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Head, Developmental Genomics Section
Translational and Functional Genomics Branch
National Human Genome Research Institute/NIH


Service to community:

-       Scientific Advisory Board for

-       Scientific Advisory Board for the Zebrafish International Resource Center

-       Scientific Advisory Board for the Alliance of Genome Resources

-       Generated and submitted to ZIRC >4,000 insertional mutants

-       Developed and maintain a publicly available zebrafish genomics track hub containing predicted CRISPR sites, 14 million SNV

-       Developed and maintain a publicly available validated CRISPR guide database

-       Developing comparative genomics tracks for identifying zebrafish enhancers


Candidate Statement:

I have been active in zebrafish research for over 20 years. Since the early days of my own, independent lab at the NIH, my underlying philosophy has been that the key to a successful zebrafish research community is that resources should be developed and shared broadly. It is why my lab (in collaboration with Shuo Lin) generated thousands of mutants to the community and my lab has developed several publicly available databases and genome browser tracks to help all researchers find and/or generate mutants. I have also dedicated time to advise two of the critical resources for the zebrafish community: and ZIRC, and have expanded this effort to be part of the broader merging of data from the other major genetic model organisms.

Because I am a government employee at the NIH, I believe it gives me a useful perspective with a foot in both “worlds” that of the researcher and that of the funding agencies. I believe I can help provide a conduit of communication between these two halves of the research endeavor. My goals as part of the IZFS would be to aggressively defend “basic” science as the pressure continues to mount for more translational research. We must prevent the temptation of abandoning the very foundational knowledge we have relied on for generations. I believe this should be a key function of the IZFS beyond the scope of the immediate functions of organizing the meeting managing emerging community issues. I would also work hard to make online data resources such as sustainable in the face of steady budget cuts. Also world peace and grant-free funding for all zebrafish researchers. 


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