The Bioinformatics Core will provide the computing skills, facilities, and data management infrastructure for researchers in Idaho. The Core Director and the Bioinformatics Core Committee are well-qualified and will manage the services of the Core across Idaho. They will participate in faculty/student training and education and provide access to high-end computational power to augment research projects within the INBRE scientific focus area of 'Cell Signaling'. Research excellence will be emphasized in three areas, (i) evolutionary analysis, (ii) gene expression analysis, and (iii) protein structure analysis and proteomics. The University of Idaho will host local databases and a distributed cluster computer for statistical modeling and phylogenetic estimation. Idaho State University will host a distributed cluster computer and software tightly integrated with their high throughput sequencing facility. Boise State University will host a distributed cluster computer and software closely integrated with their mass spectrometer facility. Multiple approaches will be used to familiarize investigators and students with bioinformatics tools and resources. We will partner with Idaho's one COBRE to fund Technology Access Grants'to scientifically meritorious projects and offset user fees for INBRE participants. Managing large datasets is often an issue. The Northwest Knowledge Network (NKN), under the University of Idaho's Office of Research and Economic Development, provides comprehensive scientific data life cycle management services. Idaho INBRE will partner with the NKN to leverage this service and provide the highest quality cyberinfrastructure to researchers. To augment educational opportunities, the University of Idaho will continue to offer the INBRE-initiated MS/PhD program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. To complement the program, a cooperative BS/MS bioinformatics training program will be developed between Boise State University and Idaho State University to direct graduates into industry laboratories as bioinformaticians and/or to provide the prerequisites for a PhD program: Also, training and education will be enhanced with a web-based Idaho INBRE 'Virtual Bioinformatics Academy'designed as an open resource for educators and students. A dedicated INBRE website section will hold bioinformatics lectures, laboratory exercises, assessment tools and supplementary materials so that faculty can help students develop computing skills. Bioinformatics training will be integrated into our existing summer undergraduate research opportunities through workshops and a bootcamp. Finally, we will share bioinformatics expertise and infrastructure across the Western IDeA region.
The INBRE Bioinformatics Core provides a needed research and educational resource in Idaho. Access to high performance computing is a requisite component for research competitiveness. Also, a quality science education must include understanding the power of high performance computing. A signal that we are succeeding in this ongoing endeavor is that the bioinformatics facilities across Idaho, that INBRE help start, are either self-sustaining or on that trajectory.
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