Modelling Inference and Analysis for Biological Systems up to the Cellular Level

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Computing Science


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Technical Summary

To facilitate the activities in the Bioinformatics Research Centre (BRC) in the area of modelling biological systems. In order to carry out these research activities, we urgently need to upgrade and improve our computing facilities, which are now ageing since their purchase in 2002 and will be nearly 4 years only by January 2006. We request support for central, shared computing facilities which would not be eligible on standard grant applications. Uniquely, the Centre is part of the Department of Computing Science but is physically located in the Faculty of Biomedical and Life Sciences, and thus is ideally placed to carry out truly interdisciplinary research at the intersection between the computational and life sciences. This is reflected both in the inter-faculty nature of the research team, numbering over 20 researchers from both computing Science and the Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences as well as the projects which we carry out. An exemplar is the large Beacon project on modelling and analysing signalling pathways ¿ the team involves wet-lab scientists who produce real data for the modellers. We now with to strengthen our focus on the systems biology oriented activities, and to bring this together with our activities in statistical machine learning. The development of computational models which are faithful representations of the system under study will be employed as simulators to verify and test inferential methods we intend to develop for the reverse-engineering of systems such as transcriptional networks. In doing so, we wish to further integrate our eScience research with this core, and to provide cross funding for Structural Bioinformatics which is an established strength in the Centre. We wish to continue and strengthen our activities of modelling at the component level of biological systems, since the processes described and predicted by system-level models take place at the molecular level. The users of the research supported by the equipment will be life science researchers. Advances in technology and laboratory techniques mean that they have access to data which is sufficient in many cases to attempt some modelling of the biological systems of interest. The aim of the Bioinformatics Research Centre aims to carry out research in collaboration with life scientists in order not only to construct models but also analyse them in-silico.


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