Laura Gardiner


Laura Gardiner


Senior Research Scientist: AI and informatics for life sciences


IBM Research Europe - United Kingdom Daresbury, England


Dr. Laura-Jayne Gardiner is a computational biologist with a background in molecular biology. Currently, Laura is a Senior Research Scientist at IBM Research Europe - Daresbury within the Application of AI for Life Sciences team. Laura works at the interface of computational science and biology to integrate HPC and AI into the analysis of large scale sequencing datasets. Laura works on problems spanning healthcare and sustainability, but has a consistent core focus on multi-omic datasets. Coming from a biological background Laura's strengths include designing methods for multi-omic data pre-processing to facilitate feature extraction, selection and integration into Machine Learning models. Examples of her current work range from fundamental investigations e.g., the prediction of gene expression patterns from DNA sequence, to the prediction of drug toxicology endpoints in human and animal models using transcriptomics. Laura frequently works with a range of data sources including genomic, transcriptomic, epigenomic and metagenomic datasets.  

Laura's previous work mainly focused on the development of methods and pipelines to analyse large scale next-generation sequencing (NGS) datasets to gain biological insight for life science research. She completed her PhD at the University of Liverpool where she focused on the genomic analysis of crops with the goal of understanding key adaptive traits for climate change. Laura was awarded the Monogram early career excellence award for her PhD work that was published in the academic journal Genome Biology surveying DNA methylation in bread wheat.

After her PhD, Laura moved to the Earlham Institute (Norwich, UK) to take the role of Senior Postdoctoral Researcher in Prof Anthony Hall's group. Here she was primarily focused on sustainability via the genetic improvement of bread wheat and studied the role of epigenetics in development and adaptation. Her post-doctoral work enabled her to associate DNA methylation with adaptation of wheat to local environment and was reported as 'Epic' and as uncovering 'the hidden genetic secrets that give wheat its remarkable ability for local adaptation' by the British Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). This work was later published in academic journals including Genome Research and presented at international conferences.




Auto-omics for climate and sustainability

An automated explainable bioinformatics and AI workflow for multi-omic, climate and environmental data, applied to sustainability problems e.g., nature-based carbon capture.

Auto-omics for healthcare and drug discovery

An automated explainable bioinformatics and AI workflow for multi-omic, clinical and experimental data, applied to healthcare and drug discovery problems.
Host-pathogen interactions.png

Host-pathogen interactions for healthcare and drug discovery

An automated explainable bioinformatics and deep learning workflow to elucidate microbiome-metabolite relationships during a host-pathogen interaction.

Blog posts

Top collaborators

Ritesh Krishna

Ritesh Krishna

Computational Genomics Lead, Senior Research Scientist, Senior Inventor