Dr Gemma Holliday

Lead of Cheminformatics

Dr Gemma Holliday graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the University of St Andrews and has worked at the interface of chemistry and biology for most of her career.

Gemma created the MACiE (now M-CSA) database during her PhD and has worked extensively on the reaction mechanisms of enzymes under first Dr John Mitchell at the University of Cambridge (2002), then Prof Dame Janet Thornton at the EBI (2005).

Gemma then moved to the University of California, San Francisco in 2011 where she worked with Prof Patricia Babbitt who she was Executive Director of the Structure-Function Linage Database (SFLD). During this time, she worked extensively on the Radical-SAM superfamily as well as more generally on the evolution of function in protein superfamilies and sequence similarity networks. After this, she helped to combine MACiE and the Catalytic Site Atlas (CSA) into a unified resource (M-CSA) before joining MDC as a bioinformatics data scientist in 2017, more recently she has taken on the role of cheminformatics lead scientist. She has worked on several ontologies around the function and evolution of proteins as well as data standards and computational representation of enzyme reaction mechanisms. At the MDC, one of her core roles is in incorporating clinical trial data into the biological and chemical data necessary for drug discovery and running the cheminformatics team. She has experience with SQL, NoSQL and Graph databases along with python to design data science solutions for informatics challenges in drug discovery.