William Hsiao is an affiliated researcher at the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory. He is also an associate professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and an affiliated faculty at Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre.
Dr. Hsiao leads an interdisciplinary group of researchers interested in studying infectious diseases through a One Health lens. The group combines knowledge engineering techniques and bioinformatics tool development to improve data sharing and integrated genomic analysis in public health. Dr. Hsiao’s team has developed several notable ontologies (GenEpiO.org and FoodOn.org) and ontology-driven tools to improve the extraction and re-use of biological data following FAIR principles. Dr. Hsiao is a co-lead of the IRIDA Consortium, a group of bioinformatics researchers building a high-quality, user-friendly genomic epidemiology analysis platform. He is also a founding member of the Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network (CanCOGeN). Recognizing the One Health (interconnected) nature of many infectious diseases, Dr. Hsiao’s team collaborates extensively with researchers and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines in quantitative sciences, social sciences and medical and veterinary sciences with the aim to understand the microbial world better and to improve the health and well-being of humans and animals.
Dr. Hsiao obtained his PhD in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Genome Sciences at University of Maryland School of Medicine. During his formal training, his research focused on microbial genomics and metagenomics. During his time as chief bioinformatician and a senior scientist (2011-2020) at the BCCDC PHL, he incorporated data science and knowledge engineering into his research and developed expertise in public health data sharing, integration, and harmonization. With experience conducting genomics and data science research both in academia and in government laboratories (public health and animal health), Dr. Hsiao is dedicated in training the next generation of bioinformaticians in public health and infectious disease research.