Garrity, George

  • E-H

George Garrity

Sc.D., 1980, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Postdoctoral, 1980, General Medical Research, USVA Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA.
Senior Research Microbiologist, 1981 - 1986, Natural Producst Screening Program, Merck Research Laborato-ries, Rahway, NJ
Research Fellow, 1986 - 1989, Natural Products Screening Program, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ
Senior Research Fellow, 1989 - 1996, Natural Products Screening Program, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
6162 Biomedical Physical Sciences
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-4320
 Phone: (517) 884-2459


Research interests

Bioinformatics and computational biology, ontologies for biological applications, algorithm development for the rapid classification and identification of microorganisms and microbial products, nomenclature and annotation, data visualization, and knowledge mining.

Current projects

"the taxonomy browser" is an experimental application that builds on earlier work in which we demonstrated that visualization and analytical techniques drawn from the field of exploratory data analysis could help to re-veal the taxonomic structure of prokaryotes. When applied to very large matrices of evolutionary distance data, derived from of aligned 16S rRNA sequences, we were able to reveal the hidden taxonomic structure of the source organisms. Of the visualization techniques we have pioneered, heatmaps have proven to be the most revealing and are serving as the basis for a novel graphical user interface for accessing associated information in the literature and databases.

NamesforLife is a project, a novel technology, and a University sponsored start-up business (NamesforLife,LLC) that arises from a long-term collaboration in electronic publishing with Catherine Lyons (Explicatrix, LLC., Edinburgh, UK). NamesforLife models the evolution of biological nomenclature and terminology, resolves instances of synonymy and homonymy, and provides a mapping to the underlying concepts that can be viewed in a temporal context. Through the use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), our technology can make names or terms actionable, can provide a direct path through the literature, and link to a variety of data-bases and other contextually relevant services. NamesforLife can provide publishers and data providers with a unique opportunity to provide their end-users with a direct path to related content, based on a name or term, even if the name or term has changed over time. Equally important, NamesforLife technology can provide publishers and data providers with opportunities to further exploit the long-tail phenomenon associated with Internet distribution of content and identify new business opportunities outside their normal markets.

The Ribosomal Database Project (RDP) provides ribosome related data services to the scientific community, including online data analysis, rRNA derived phylogenetic trees, and aligned and annotated rRNA sequences.