Staden Package

David Martin d.m.a.martin at
Tue Apr 1 13:34:16 UTC 2003

many on this list will be users of the Staden Package. This has recently had
close ties with the EMBOSS project.

It is (IMHO) extremely shortsighted of the MRC to take this approach and I
would urge all those of you who have benefitted from this package to at
least send an email to support Rodger Staden's position and argue for
continued support for the package.


David Martin PhD
Bioinformatics Scientific Officer
Post-Genomics and Molecular Interactions Centre
University of Dundee

------ Forwarded Message
From: Staden Package Administrator <staden-admin at>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2003 14:18:04 +0100 (BST)
To: d.m.a.martin at
Subject: Devastating news


You are on the list of people with licences for our software. I am
sorry to have to inform you that the Staden Package is no longer
available or supported as the MRC has decided to withdraw our funding.

Last year I submitted, to MRC, a three year grant proposal of 443k,
almost all of which was to pay salaries. The application gained
extremely positive referee reports and the MRC Molecular and Cellular
Medicine Board awarded it their highest banding for both past and
proposed work. Despite this, and with knowledge of the large number of
groups who are going to be badly affected, the MRC has decided not to
fund us. The current funding finishes at the end of April - just a few
weeks - and James Bonfield, Kathryn Beal, Mark Jordan and Yaping Cheng
will lose their jobs and receive no redundancy pay.

Before we saw the favourable referees reports I asked MRC if, in the
event of our funding being cut, the package could be made Open Source
so that we and others could continue to develop and support it even if
no longer working for MRC. This seemed to us the best way of
safeguarding users and the careers of the group. MRC refused, saying
the package had potential commercial value.

The official who phoned to tell us the funding decision said he had
"devastating news". For us this is certainly true. I have been working
on various versions of the package for over 25 years, James for 11 and
Kathryn for 7. It is also very frustrating as we had so much work
nearly ready for release.

If this decision is going to affect the work of you and your
colleagues, or if you have any other comments or suggestions please
reply to this email and, if you think it might help, send a copy to
the MRC Chief Executive George Rada george.rada at

Rodger Staden

Dr Rodger Staden,                     rs at
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology,
Hills Road,                           Tel (01223) 402389   or +44 1223
Cambridge,  CB2 2QH, UK.              Fax (01223) 213556   or +44 1223

------ End of Forwarded Message

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