Who We Are: Willem Ligtenberg,A Member
I am Willem Ligtenberg.
I have studied Biomedical Engineering and later specialized myself in bioinformatics, which is also
known as computational biology. More specifically, I specialized myself in biomodeling and bioinformatics.
During my PhD thesis I investigated the use of graph theoretic approaches in biology.
I used graph algorithms in combination with machine learning algorithms to reverse engineer gene regulatory networks. If you are interested you can have a
read here: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2105/13/281
During this I used a lot of Python and a bit of R for the statistics. I also took a course on
biostatistics for PhD students and although the course was given using Statgraphics, I did using R.
Which the tutors thought was fine, but it was not their expertise. However, they did give me the
e-mail address of a collegue of theirs who used R as well.
Fast-forward a couple of years, and currently I am working as a consultant for Open Analytics
(http://www.openanalytics.eu), which is a company that helps with the data analysis from start to finish. As the name suggests
the company believes in openness and therefore focusses on the use of (fibre/libre) open source software (FLOSS).
The FLOSS aspect of the company was a big plus for me, since I have been using Ubuntu since Warty (2004).
For the data analysis part we mainly use R, but we will use other languages if they are more
appropriate. So I still get to use Python now and then.
I have written and contributed to a few R packages that are on Bioconductor: (reactome.db,
the a4 packages and MLP). I am currenty working on an Object Relational Mapper in R, which
I hope to publish soon. Feel free to reach out to me if you want to know more about data analysis
using open source software, specifically bioinformatics and databases.