Project Description

The flood of data arising from genomic-scale studies performed within the GEN-AU research program poses significant challenges. During the first phase of the GEN-AU program, as part of a strategy to turn these challenges into opportunities and chances, we assembled a consortium of research partners within the Bioinformatics Integration Network (BIN) and established a computational laboratory for the integration of bioinformatics solutions. During this phase we established three thematic nodes with complementary expertise: (i) bioinformatics services and database integration, (ii) sequence annotation and (iii) structural genomics. During the second funding period we expanded and improved the backbone for bioinformatics services and broadened the scope of the thematic nodes by establishing proteomics informatics and evolutionary sequence analysis.

The continuous development and application of novel technologies for generating high-throughput data requires the parallel development of computational methods and tools to manage, store, and analyze the data. The BIN III consortium therefore plans to maintain and enrich the computational laboratory and strengthen interactions with the experimental partners during the third funding period.

The goal of the BIN III project is to provide bioinformatics services and use computational methods to address biological questions arising from the GEN-AU projects. Specifically, our aims are:

To provide an environment for bioinformatics services and continuously improve bioinformatics
resources for the large-scale projects within the Austrian genome research program GEN-AU. The
bioinformatics services developed and installed during BIN I and BIN II will be maintained and
improved and the available databases, services and systems will be adapted to emerging software
technology and new hardware requirements.
To develop novel computational methods for the analysis of biomolecular data. All individual
components will direct major research activities with the aim of developing computational methods
for the analysis of biomolecular data and validation of the methods in a biological context. We will
focus on two specific areas: gene regulation and the modeling of molecular networks.
To validate the developed methods and address biological questions posed by the GEN-AU
projects. In collaboration with the experimental partners from other GEN-AU projects we will
apply the computational methods developed in the preceding aim to address biological questions
and/or validate the methods. Experiments will be designed and performed in close collaboration
with the computational biologists to generate the necessary data.
To promote the development of bioinformatics and computational biology in Austria by providing
education and training at the undergraduate and graduate levels. We will continue the PhD program
with special emphasis on the education of core personnel for bioinformatics. The network will
furthermore continue to organize workshops for biologists in the GEN-AU projects, arrange a
series of lectures featuring distinguished bioinformatics speakers and offer additional working
places for guest scientists at the network nodes.