Surrounded by geniuses- part 3 : Ben

As we’ve seen so far, the short descriptors really did not do my brilliant colleagues any justice and fail miserably to convey the sheer volume of awesome concentrated into each of the geniuses found in the Su lab.

To be honest, I lied about two of the first-impression descriptors. See, those were actually second-impression descriptors. The first lie was about Young-dad-in-charge-of-too-many-crazy-projects genius. The truth is that Young-dad-in-charge-of-too-many-crazy-projects genius was actually one of the two brilliant people I got to meet after my interview with genius-in-charge with insane mental organizational skills. At the time of our first meeting, I overlooked the ‘child-wrangler’ part inYoung-dad-in-charge-of-too-many-crazy-projects genius’s profile. My impression of him had primarily been based on a blog entry he posted around the time I was investigating the Su lab. Thus, the true first impression was that he was just one of those humorous-dude-in-charge-of-too-many-crazy-projects type of genius. My apologies for the deception caused by my attempts to simplify my blog entries.

Aside from having a name with great revenue and licensing potential, Young-dad-in-charge-of-too-many-crazy-projects genius AKA Dr. Benjamin Good, is a senior staff scientist in the Su lab. Now, you would think that you could get a good idea of what he works on looking at his profile on the Su Lab site. Ha ha! Think again!

Not. Remotely. Sufficient.

Ben’s Gene Wiki efforts extend beyond that which has been described in his profile. Did you know that he and Andrew have partnered with the journal Gene so that authors writing review articles for Gene also submit updates to Gene Wiki to help build the knowledge base available to the public? How’s that for awesome? If you are an expert on a certain gene, you could write a review for the journal Gene and then ensure that people will read your review (or at least know where to find it) by linking it as a reference when you update the Gene Wiki entry for that gene. Benefits everyone!

But the most awesome projects that Ben manages (at least in my opinion of awesome) are the Su lab games with a purpose. Ben has been working on Mark2Cure with Quirky, artistic, rock star programming genius with awesome hair, which will hopefully allow ANYONE WHO CAN READ to contribute to the progress of scientific research. (Ad alert) If you can read, you can help, join the Mark2cure mailing list to receive alerts on the progress of this project (end of Ad).

Ben has also been working on the The Cure along with Insanely talented undergrad genius which uses the collective wisdom of game players in order to build predictions regarding how certain variables (like genes) can affect tumor metastasis.

In addition to spearheading many of these crowd sourcing projects, Ben can be found injecting useful input into a variety of projects in the lab. He contributes his expertise to the knowledge management of several of the Integrative Structural Biology projects. Plus he’s just a helpful person in general. In fact, he is involved in so many projects around the lab that he can generally answer any question you may have. Further, he’s done so much research in the field of crowdsourcing and mining crowd data that he’ll be joining Andrew, Robert, and Zhiyong in chairing the Crowdsourcing and Mining Crowd Data session at the Pacific Symposium for Biocomputing. If you are also an expert in this field, you should submit an abstract and help blow the mind of Young-dad-in-charge-of-too-many-crazy-projects genius.

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