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Galaxy Consulting Services for Penn State Researchers

Galaxy is an open, web-based platform for accessible, reproducible and transparent computational research.  The platform eliminates the complexities inherent in research that require complex programming for high performance compute (HPC) big-data analyses.

Although developed by the bioinformatics community, Galaxy is a flexible platform that can be used for data intensive research in virtually any scientific discipline.  Enabling this is the ability to easily wrap tools used within a field of research into a Galaxy environment. 

The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences provides Galaxy-based bioinformatics consulting services for Penn State researchers. Greg Von Kuster is an expert with the Galaxy workbench, and consults with Penn State research labs to make Galaxy the foundational platform for their big-data analysis pipelines.

About Greg Von Kuster

Greg has been involved in HPC research since 1988. His career started in Silicon Valley, California working for HP Labs at Hewlett Packard Company. With the introduction of the Internet in the mid-1990’s, Greg participated in the invention of several new web technologies, including the world’s first web-based firewall piercing technology. He contributed to leading-edge Internet based product development during the dot-com explosion. Starting in 1999, he was involved with the HP eSpeak technology, helping to develop the world’s first electronic services broker, enabling both electronic and brick-and-mortar businesses to leverage the Internet to advertise products and services to first-generation mobile devices and deliver them to customers anywhere in the world. In early 2000, Greg formed a dot-com startup whose product line included one of the world’s first XML databases.

Greg began working at Penn State University in 2003, and was one of the initial developers of the Galaxy workbench starting in 2006, where he introduced processes early in the development effort that enabled its worldwide adoption. He played a key role in landing the 2008 grant for Galaxy that enabled the core development team to grow beyond Penn State to include Emory University, John-Hopkins University and others. In 2010, Greg developed the Galaxy Tool Shed, the world’s first biomedical App Store. Since 2014, Greg has been working with researchers across the Penn State campus to introduce Galaxy and its many benefits into their lab environments.

Explore Galaxy for your Research

Those interested in building Galaxy environments for their research should send an email to Greg Von Kuster.  Greg’s consulting services include building all custom components needed within a Galaxy environment for labs or individual researchers.  These services include developing wrappers for research tools not currently available within the Galaxy platform, potentially creating a new Galaxy instance for a field of research.

Past Consultations

The following sections provide examples of some of Greg’s past consultations with various researchers.  The intent is to provide information to prospective researchers that will help them see the many benefits that Galaxy can bring to their current analysis environments.

Galaxy / CEGR: Pugh/Mahony Labs, Center for Eukaryotic Gene Regulation

Greg consulted with Dr. Frank Pugh and Dr. Shaun Mahony in the Center for Eukaryotic Gene Regulation to build the Galaxy / CEGR instance. 

Galaxy / vSNP

Greg consulted with Dr. Vivek Kapur in the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences to build the Galaxy / vSNP analysis environment.  

Galaxy / Entomology

Greg consulted with Dr. Shelby Fleisher in the Department of Entomology to build the Galaxy/Entomology analysis environment.

Galaxy / PlantTribes

Greg consulted with Dr. Claude DePamphillis in the Department of Biology to build the Galaxy/PlantTribes analysis environment.

Galaxy / CSG 

Greg consulted with Dr. Alexander Pletzer at NIWA for New Zealand eScience Infrastructure to build the foundational Galaxy toolset for constructive solid geometry. 

Galaxy / CoralSNP: Baums Lab, Department of Biology 

Greg consulted with Dr. Iliana Baums in the Department of Biology to develop the Galaxy / CoralSNP analysis environment.