Professor Jennifer Byrne named Top 10 in science

Professor Jennifer Byrne, Department Head of the Children's Cancer Research Unit at The Children's Hospital at Westmead and Professor of Molecular Onoclogy at the University of Sydney, has today been named in international journal, Nature, as one of the top ten people who mattered in science for 2017. 

Prof Byrne received the prestigious accolade for her work in developing a program that can detect errors in gene sequences reported in experiments. The program, called Seek & Blastn, has since helped to identify flaws in more than 60 research papers, almost all of which relate to cancer.

“Being named as one of Nature’s 10 is great recognition of our work, and of the importance of taking active steps to improve the reliability of the biomedical research literature,” Professor Byrne said.

“Published errors hold back research progress and translation. We are trying to reduce the source of some of these errors, particularly in the cancer research literature which is my field of expertise.”

This discovery was a long time in the making, Prof Byrne first starting her work on identifying errors in human cancer papers in 2015. Earlier this year, Prof Byrne and  Cyril Labbe, a computer scientist at the University of Grenoble Alpes in Grenoble, France, made an early version of the program available to the public and plan to eventually offer the tool to journal editors and publishers to further help detect potential plagarism.

“Our research focusses on the incorrect reporting and use of particular experimental reagents that are commonly used in cancer research publications."

“Scientists need a better understanding of these types of errors, so that they can avoid wasting time and money by inadvertently following up incorrect results.”

This year, Prof Byrne is the only Australian scientist to be named in the Top 10.

Congratulations Prof Byrne on this outstanding acheivement.

See Nature's Top 10.