The explosive growth of biological research in the last decade has led to an exponential increase in the amount of information available about important biological systems. With new developments, such as sequencing entire genomes of many organisms, this increase is likely to continue. Not only the amount of data will increase, but also new types of data—such as exact timing of various steps in regulatory pathways—will become available. These developments necessitate a system-wide appreciation of what’s happening in a cell or organism and the computing and organizational power to make sense of it all. The Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Program is helping to develop this new paradigm both by creating new bioinformatics tools and at the same time, in collaboration with other research groups at the Institute, applying new tools and new ways of thinking to specific research projects.
How our research helps improve health
With the genome now completed, the sequences of all ~20-25,000 human genes are now known. The function or even the speculated function of more than half of these genes, however, is still unknown, leaving a large gaps in our understanding of human genetics, development, health, and disease. The next phase of genomics will be dedicated to deciphering gene function, from which will come the targets for future drug discovery.