Winners of the DFG Bioinformatics Initiative

The Central Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) has selected the winners of the Bioinformatics Initiative today. A total of 31 concepts were handed in for assessment. The DFG is to support the development of bioinformatics at the locations of Bielefield, Munich, Leipzig, Saarbrucken and Tubingen for an initial two years.

In June 1999, the DFG invited Germany's universities to work out concepts for the development of a research and teaching profile in bioinformatics together with extra-university institutes in their region. In bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary science that is still in its infancy, insights and methods in biology, chemistry, pharmaceutics and computer science are combined to order the huge amounts of information coming from attempts world-wide to decode the hereditary factors of micro-organisms, plants, animals and even human beings (human genome projects), to relate them to each other and to make them available to applications, for example in medicine. This means that the establishment of bioinformatics capacities is essential at all locations at which modern bio-science is being carried out. Already, there are bioinformatics programmes in France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The DFG's Committee and Senate wanted the competition to give an impulse to the universities and research institutions to enhance existing potentials in order to boost their attractiveness by offering forward-looking courses, to provide qualified training for urgently required new blood for academic research and industry and, in doing so, to improve Germany as a science location. On the basis of recommendations drawn up by an international team of experts, and in the framework of the Bioinformatics Initiative, the Central Committee has selected five locations that have submitted particularly innovative concepts.

In Bielefeld, DFG funds are being used to set up two institutes at the Biotechnology Centre, an institute for genome rese

Contact: Dr. Ingrid Ehses and Dr. Andreas Engelke
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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