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Graduate School of Library and Information Science - University of Illinois


Alumna Sara Tompson receives SLA Fellowship

Thu, 18 May 2017 15:00:47 +0000

(image) Sara Tompson (MS '87) has been named a 2017 Special Libraries Association (SLA) Fellow. Fellowship in SLA is granted annually to no more than five mid-career SLA members for their service to the association and the information profession. Fellows advise the association’s Board of Directors, prepare necessary documentation, and alert the membership to issues and trends warranting action.

Tompson has been a member of SLA since 1991, when she worked at what was then called the Hazardous Waste Research & Information Center, a state agency on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.

For the past four years, she has served as the section manager for library, archives, and records at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The laboratory, which is run by Caltech under a contract with NASA, explores the solar system with robotic spacecraft and telescopes. 

"I'm especially thrilled when I see Mars in the sky and know that we have two active Rovers on that planet, Opportunity and Curiosity," Tompson said.

In her free time, Tompson, an instrument-rated private pilot, likes to fly around southern California with her husband and friends.

Her advice to current students is to "learn as much as you can, take a range of courses, and stay flexible—be willing and able to work at any type of library."

Explore Public Genomics Datasets with Dr. Ben Busby of the National Center for Biotechnology Information

Tue, 09 May 2017 21:29:44 +0000

1:00 p.m. - Seminar: The Many Possible Futures of Genomics

2:30 p.m. - Workshop 1: Using Gene, RefSeq and Variation Resources for BioMedical Research (hands-on)

3:45 p.m. - Workshop 2: New NCBI Resources for Computational Biologists

(image) Ben Busby is the genomics outreach coordinator for NCBI, and the chair of the Bioinformatics Department at the Foundation for the Advanced Education in the Sciences. He is very interested in the integration of large genomic datasets, specifically in the metadata harmonization and statistical normalization necessary to do so.

 Busby will describe how NCBI has enhanced several of its genomics resources in the last few years and how some of its public databases can be queried for computational biology and clinical questions. NCBI has also improved access to the underlying genomic data in several ways, including making it possible to BLAST into our large genomic databases. For less computationally sophisticated users, NCBI has introduced variation viewer and variation reporter; powerful tools for researchers and clinicians to investigate disease causing variants found in several populations reported in the ClinVar, dbVar and dbSNP databases.

RSVP to cjfields [at] (Christopher Fields), High Performance Biological Computing (HPCBio) associate director


Room 607, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
1206 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL



The Carver Biotechnology Group, HPCBio, and the iSchool

Event Date: 

Thu, 05/18/2017 -
1:00pm to 5:00pm