A distributed infrastructure for life-science information
The Spanish National Bioinformatics Institute (‘Instituto Nacional de Bioinformática’ in Spanish, INB) is composed of 10 computational biology groups that comprise a virtual institute. It started operating in 2003 and its more than 35 employees are funded by the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII,http://www.isciii.es/).
The INB serves in the coordination, integration and development of Spanish bioinformatics resources in projects in the areas of genomics, proteomics and translational medicine. It has contributed to the creation of a consistent computational infrastructure in the area of bioinformatics, participated in national and international genome projects, and trained bioinformatics users and developers.
The INB maintains a number of important and widely used core resources that cover fields such as functional genomics, transcriptomics with RNA-Seq, genotyping, genomic medicine, structural bioinformatics and molecular dynamics simulations. Furthermore a number of specialized tools and services are offered that complement this offering.
Over the next few years, activities in the following areas are planned:
High performance computing: computer resources accessible through BSC will yield PetaFlop scale performance that will be designed to support large “omics” projects.
Co-management of the EGA database: the European genome-phenome archive will be comanaged by the EBI and the INB providing an important model for collaboration in ELIXIR.
Training: the INB organizes national and international training courses that will be coordinated with ELIXIR actitities.
Text mining: the INB proposes to take a leading role in this area.
Transcriptomic data processing: the INB plans to provide tools and services to analyze NGS data in a fast and efficient manner and to port algorithms to HPC environments.
Standardizing the assessment of bioinformatics methods: the INB aims to become the reference ELIXIR center for the assessment of bioinformatics.
Integration of molecular dynamics simulation systems: the INB offers a range of tools for the analysis of molecular dynamics trajectories, protein structural flexibility, and large-scale conformational changes in proteins that will be integrated into a common platform.
Web and cloud services: the INB will contribute to the necessary upgrades in the technology and maintain stable Web Services in key areas.
Structural Bioinformatics: development of interactive user environments integrating structural information at various resolutions with biological annotations.