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 2016 include the discovery that the symbiotic event that leads to the emergence of mitochondria occurred later in the evolution of eukaryotic cells than was previously thought, the systematic exploration of the fitness landscape of the green fluorescent protein from Aequorea victoria (avGFP) by measuring the fluorescence of tens of thousands of derivative genotypes, the development of methods to predict interactions between proteins and long non-coding RNAs, and the discovery of a novel approach to reduce the toxic activity of trinucleotide repeat expansions in polyglutamine diseases.
Several groups in the programme participated in a number of genome projects, including the olive tree, the lynx and the bean, in which we shared the leadership, as well as in the first Arabidopsis genome assembled to complete chromosomes using PacBio.
The programme continued to deploy and support the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) in collaboration with the European Bioinformatics institute (EMBL-EBI) and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS).
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.