Friday, November 05, 2004

NIH funds new bioinformatics resources

There's been a lot of talk about the (over)hype of bioinformatics as "The Way of The Future" and the apparent lack of concentrated effort / funding to justify the media buzz... creating lots of uncertainity / discomfort in the field. Well, good news are on the way...

As reported by MedicalNewsToday :

"The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded two collaborative contracts, totaling $46 million [...] the funds will be allocated to UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas to create two bioinformatics centers.

The contracts will create separate bioinformatics resources - the BioHealthBase Bioinformatics Resource Center for Biodefense and Emerging/Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Immunology Database and Analysis Portal (ImmPort). Each will include databases and software that researchers can use to improve drug discovery and vaccine development."

Biodefense and infectious disease are getting lots of funding lately (think bioterrorism), which is a good thing. They'll put the focus on tuberculosis and Influenza (common cold virus) apparently. The "BioHealthBase" part will concentrate on promoter analysis (at least, this is what I understand from the scientifically dumbed down article) while the "ImmPort" part will try to "integrate data from different kinds of biomedical research, such as clinical trials, animal modeling and studies using cultured cells", leading to a better global understanding of diseases.

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