Étudiant-chercheur étoile April 2013

Sébastien Boisvert

PhD student in Physiology-Endocrinology
Université Laval

Award-winning publication: Ray Meta: scalable de novo metagenome assembly and profiling

Published in: Genome Biology, 13(12): R122


"Genomics is a science that relies on large amounts of data, and metagenomics (the study of several genomes) involves the analysis of vast sets of DNA sequencing data. The Ray Meta software, which I designed and programmed as part of a multidisciplinary research project, facilitates the analysis of extensive metagenomic data sets and helps elucidate the complexity of biological systems (e.g. the digestive system). Combined with Ray Meta, Ray Communities may be used to quantify all the life forms present in a sample through the distributed demultiplexing of biological markers. Redefining the boundaries of metagenomics, my software is free, redistributable, without patent and in open source."

Sébastien Boisvert's research has already led to a series of socioeconomic impacts and will continue to yield benefits. The Cray Canada Corporation, an industry leader that specializes in managing large amounts of data, invested in the project and now redistributes the software to clients. In fact, the free software helped analyze Québec's water towers, which recently made headlines following an outbreak of legionnaire disease. The software is currently being used to establish the genetic map of the white spruce—a tree species of great importance to the economies of Québec and Canada.