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Statisticians, biologists and computer scientists to decipher genetic information together

Published 20. November 2012, 11:00 h
German Research Foundation (DFG) approves international Research Training Group of universities in Bielefeld and Vancouver, Canada

In many natural sciences, technological progress enables experimental data to be gathered more quickly than it can be interpreted - in the deciphering of genomes, for example. Computer-aided analyses are essential for this. Appropriate methods and software can only be developed with the involvement of numerous disciplines from statistics through molecular biology to (bio-)informatics. For an initial period of four years, the German Research Foundation (DFG) is therefore funding a new international Research Training Group with an interdisciplinary approach set up by the universities in Bielefeld and Vancouver, Canada.  Vancouver’s official acceptance of the funding is expected in January.


“Computational Methods for the Analysis of the Diversity and Dynamics of Genomes” is the name of the new Research Training Group established by Bielefeld University (Faculty of Technology and CeBiTec - Center for Biotechnology) in collaboration with Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver, Canada. The research group comprises twelve grants for doctoral studies per year as well as the funding of intensive collaboration by the participating partner in the form of expenses-paid visits by doctoral researchers and annual bilateral workshops, for example. The first doctoral students will be able to start work in October 2013.

In the fields of molecular biology and genetics in particular, rapid advances in the development of sequencing technologies make it possible for billions of DNA base pairs from complex samples to be read within a few days. Not only more genomic data is obtained due to this technological progress, but entirely new types of research can be conducted, single cell or metagenomic studies, for example. What many of these approaches have in common is that the interaction between organisms within larger populations is analysed. In order to penetrate biological systems completely, it is therefore essential to understand the variations between organisms (diversity) as well as the evolution of populations (dynamics).

The objective of the joint international graduate school of the Bielefeld and Vancouver universities is to train young researchers so that they are able to develop new computational methods for the analysis of the diversity and dynamics of genomes. For this purpose, they will be working together with British Columbia Cancer Agency and the Vancouver Prostate Centre.

Both Bielefeld University and Simon Fraser University are young, research-based universities and rank among the top 50 in the current Times Higher Education “100 Under 50”. They number among the leading universities in their respective countries regarding the development of bioinformatic algorithms and software.

Professor Dr Jens Stoye (Bielefeld University) and Professor Cenk S. Sahinalp PhD (Simon Fraser University) will be the spokesmen for the Research Training Group.

Contact:
Professor Dr Jens Stoye, Bielefeld University
Faculty of Technology / Genome Informatics group
Telephone: +49 521 106-3852
Email: jens.stoye@uni-bielefeld.de

Gesendet von MBorchert in General Tags: fo hp
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