The Bioinformatics Core established technological and human resources that support biomedical research in Idaho. Bioinformatics is incorporated into activities at various levels on every Idaho campus as evidenced by separate INBRE bioinformatics budgets by most Network institutions. To maintain critical mass in three types of bioinformatics analyses used in 'Cell Signaling' research, areas of emphasis will continue in (i) evolutionary analysis (UI), (ii) gene expression analysis (ISU), and (iii) protein structure analysis and proteomics (BSU).
UI will host local databases and a distributed cluster computer for statistical modeling and phylogenetic estimation. ISU will host a distributed cluster computer and software tightly integrated with their high throughput sequencing facility. BSU will host a distributed cluster computer and software tightly integrated with their mass spectrometer facility. Each facility will be available to faculty and students in every state institution via high-speed telecommunications.
The high-end computing hardware will remain available to all INBRE participants through secure internet connections and access to state-of-the art analytical software, and experts will provide specialized help as necessary. The facilities received COBRE (UI) or instrumentation (BSU, ISU) awards, substantial material support from each university administration, and support from individual NIH and NSF research awards. In particular, a UI COBRE (LJ Forney, PI), which was recently renewed for five years, will fund additional processing capacity for cluster computing. Bioinformatics hardware and software needs will be optimized statewide for educating and training students and faculty in best-bioinformatics-practices and providing access to specialized high performance computing. Planned upgrades include, at UI, power supplies, servers and cluster nodes, increase disk storage capacity, and transfer of all bioinformatics system administrators to permanent Idaho State salaries; at ISU, computing nodes and data storage and building an integrated bioinformatics teaching/research facility; at BSU, integrating a new mass spectrometer and software, adding two general-purpose servers, increasing data storage capacity, expanding cluster computing capacity, and supporting additional staff on a permanent state line. BSU will also significantly enhance its telecommunications connections by leveraging INBRE funds with NSF instrumentation awards, institutional support, and service fees in individual grants.