Eng. Pedro Fernandes

Instituto Gulbenkian da Ciência

Pedro L. Fernandes graduated in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering at the IST in 1979. He was attracted by Biology still in the 1970s and worked in Biomechanics, Biophysics and Physiology for 20 years. He authored and co-authored 35 research fully peer-reviewed papers and delivered more than 30 invited seminars. In the early 1980s, he created the first Bioinformatics community in Portugal by launching a national service based on a centralised server in Oeiras, holding copies of public databases and reliably installed software. This community of users grew to 800 researchers. This service has later evolved into the first HPC platform for Bioinformatics in Portugal (2005-2015). Meanwhile, as he noticed that the biggest bottleneck in usage is (still) the lack of practical skills, he transformed the sporadic training course provision that he had started in 1986 into the fully fledged Gulbenkian Training Programme in Bioinformatics (GTPB, 1999), which has made intensive hands-on training available to more than 5300 course participants in the last 20 years. The programme has international reach, is thematically diverse and has developed a consistent methodology. Since 2017, he has also become an Open Science activist, running events and writing open access e-books that are available for free (for example http://osodos.org). In connection to this, he also develops methods and content in Open Education.