Julian Montoto

Julián Montoto Louzao


"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution"

- Theodosius Dobzhansky


A bit of Stephen Jay Gould’s puntuated equilibrium fan; population genetics, phylogenetics and evo-devo are my biological backgrounds.

At some point, from being that not-so-frequent biologist that enjoys math, statistics, technology, I realized bioinformatics was the tool that could help me to achieve my purpose, which might be somewhere related to genomics, big data, phylogenomics, AI, gene expression…

Before starting my scientific career I could often find myself using spreadsheets for every little task that could be suitable for. I think that’s why I enjoy so much to be able to try to get biological answers from data. My mind thinks a bit on a data.frame format and I just embrace it.

Francis Crick, allegedly the discoverer of the gossip test, would recommend a person to work on the subject you find yourself spontaneously gossiping about. I think connecting biology with math and statistics through technology is something that had been in my mind forever, and it wasn’t until I started working as a bioinformatician that I didn’t realize this is what fits the best the 4-way principle to find one’s purpose: “you love it, the world needs it, you are good at it and you get paid for it”.

I studied my Biology degree in the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, and after a few years working in different fields, i had the feeling i had to come back to science, and studied the MSc “Bioinformatics for Health Sciences” in the Universidade da Coruña. It then started my relation with bioinformatics, and was with coding, machine learning, high performance computing, biostatistics and gene expression with which I had the most engaging interest.

Although I have a cordial relationship with R, I will prefer to do it the python way if it’s possible and worth it. Actually sometimes even if it’s not so worthwhile.

From March 2021, I am working as PhD student of Molecular Medicine in the GENPOB group directed by Pr. Antonio Salas and located in the Instituto de Investigaciones Sanitarias de Santiago de Compostela, where I develop bioinformatic analysis mainly focused in gene expression; and also developing own tools or pipelines to process gene expression data, in a range between microarrays, Nanostring or RNA-Seq.

Publications within the group