BLACKSBURG, Va., June 1, 2005 – On May 16 through 18, 2005, the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) hosted the second Bioinformatics Resource Centers (BRC) and Interoperability Working Group (IOWG) meeting.
The BRC2 meeting, which was held May 16 and 17, addressed strategies and software tools for genome sequence annotation, comparative genomics, and sequence polymorphism identification. The IOWG meeting, held on May 18, addressed interoperation of BRCs. Issues discussed included sharing data and software tools, coding practices, central BRC data repository, and common web interfaces.
The meeting was opened with a BRC update from NIAID program officer, Valentina Di Francesco. Over the three-day conference, each BRC provided an overview of its annotation strategies, clarified the data types being used, and discussed useful annotation software tools. Attendees also participated in a variety of informal discussions about data types and various technologies and methods of analysis.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) established eight BRCs to integrate genomic and post-sequence data from organisms on NIAID’s list of Category A-C priority pathogens. The BRC initiative combines genomics, proteomics, biochemical, and microbiological information in a community of scientists to collect and share information leading to scientific hypotheses that will generate new targets for diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines. The BRCs collect and integrate a variety of data types including genome sequence, comparative genomics, genome polymorphisms, gene expression, proteomics, host/pathogen interactions, and pathways.
In June 2004, VBI was awarded a five-year $10.3 million contract from NIAID to establish a multi-organism relational database for infectious disease research focusing on biodefense and emerging infectious diseases. VBI’s BRC, the Pathosystems Resource Integration Center (PATRIC), is a comprehensive web-based resource for genomic and associated information on several important human pathogens.
May 31, 2005