Brussels universities establish (IB)² institute for bio-informatics
Six faculties of the Dutch- and French-speaking universities of Brussels are joining forces in the new Interuniversity Institute of Bio-informatics, (IB)².
(IB)² centre will help researchers process big medical data
Technical advances today allow researchers to for instance acquire genetic data of complex microbial interactions and the human genome’s approximately 20,000 genes. But collecting research data is just the first step. To attain relevant conclusions, scientists also need to organise and analyse these gigantic amounts of information.
Located at the ULB’s Etterbeek campus, the centre houses experts in ICT, statistics, medicine, biology and chemistry. The sciences, applied sciences and medicine faculties of both Brussels universities are the founding partners of this project. In addition to research facilities, such as high-performance computer technology, the centre also provides meeting and seminar spaces. In time, (IB)² hopes to become an international science centre through training, education, innovation and collaborations.
The researchers at (IB)² are currently working on five research projects. They’re looking into the evolution of our nerve system, examining predictive bio markers in the area of metagenomics, and figuring out the role of genetic polymorphisms in causing diseases. Two other projects have the scientists processing DNA sequences data to improve patient diagnoses, and devising a model for the dynamics of the human microbiome – the sum of all the microorganisms in our bodies.