COBRE: UID: Bioinformatics Core Facility (FY 2006)
This project implements a bioinformatics core facility, which provides hardware, software, educational/training capabilities, and staffing that enable biomedical researchers to analyze and model biological data. This core is funded by COBRE in conjunction with other sources such as the Idaho BRIN and INBRE Programs (P20RR16454). In the last year, with COBRE funds, we have increased the available disk storage, in order to accommodate exponentially increasing databases. Using other funds, we have also built a new high performance (64-bit, 16 node Xserve) cluster computer, as a test platform for exploring future cluster architectures, and added a third (more powerful) Sun V880 server On the software side, we have upgraded our core bioinformatics software for both research and training, and have augmented our mathematical and molecular modeling capabilities. We have also expanded our MS/PhD program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) to 17 doctoral students and 3 MS students. Most students are working on research projects with COBRE faculty. We also offered formal courses, participated in the third annual BRIN Bioinformatics Workshop, and hosted a COBRE poster session in September. Staff in this core now include: James A. Foster, Director; Ken Blair, Systems Administrator; Celeste Brown, Bioinformatics Coordinator; four student assistant systems administrators; and two student programmers. Our plans for this year are: to improve the production cluster computer to improve availability and reliability, to recruit a second, full-time systems administrator for cluster computing, and to renew software licenses. We are also assisting with the NIH Lariat project, a BRIN supplement to enhance telecommunications in support of collaborative biomedical research among IDEA states in our region.