Bioinformatics and Genomics
Bioinformatics and Genomics
- Research programme page
Genomic technologies are generating an extraordinary amount of information, unprecedented in the history of biology. Bioinformatics addresses the specific needs in data acquisition, storage, analysis and integration that research in genomics generates. Within the CRG, Bioinformatics & Genomics program plays a role central to the other research programs at the CRG.
Groups at Bioinformatics & Genomics program cover a wide range of topics: from computational biology of RNA processing, comparative bioinformatics and comparative genomics to gene function and evolution and genomic and epigenomic variation in disease. The program also hosts the EGA team at the CRG, which together with EMBL-EBI, manages the European Genome-Phenome Archive (EGA).
The Bioinformatics & Genomics program is closely related to the Research Group in Biomedical Informatics (GRIB) at the IMIM-UPF. Within the GRIB, a number of complementary research lines are being developed in Molecular Modeling, Protein Structure Prediction, and Complex Systems. We believe that the coexistence at the IMIM-UPF-CRG of these diverse groups in Computational Biology (unique in Spain), facilitates a global understanding of the living cell, from the recognition of specific signals in the DNA sequence to the elucidation of the complex protein interaction network.
The programme’s scientific highlights in 2018 included the development of Pergola, a tool to visualise and analyse longitudinal data that uses the logical infrastructure built to display annotations along genome sequences; the investigation of the impact of the death of the organism in the transcriptional patterns in tissues and the corresponding development of a forensic tool to predict the time since death based on the gene expression values in a few selected tissues; the uncovering of evidence for the existence of an active sexual cycle in Candida glabrata, an opportunistic fungal pathogen, and the discovery of a number of proteins that regulate the expression of alpha-synuclein, which is linked to Parkinson’s disease, through interactions with its 3’ UTR.
Our programme also led the “Saca La Lengua” (“Stick Out your Tongue”) citizen’s science project. The project aimed at studying the mouth’s microbiome and its possible relationship with our environmental characteristics and lifestyle.
Several groups in the programme are participating in a number of large-scale genomic projects, such as ENCODE, GTEx, PanCancer, I5K, F1K, WebOfLife, IASIS, the Human Cell Atlas and others.
The programme has continued to deploy and support the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) in collaboration with the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). EGA is an ELIXIR Core Data Resource and an ELIXIR Recommended Deposition Database. It is one of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) Driver Projects. EGA is also one of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Science pilot demonstrators.
Integrated in a senior research group, Staff Scientists support the research of the group, while having a degree of scientific independence to lead their own research line (i.e. co‐mentoring of PhD students, being senior authors in publications and applying for grants). As Faculty Members, Staff Scientists are evaluated every 4 years by an external committee composed of SAB and ad‐hoc members in the framework of the Programme’s evaluation.