About the Biocomputing Unit of the University of Bologna

The group became officially active in 1995, when the Interdepartmental Center for the Biotechnological Research of the University of Bologna supported the establishment of a Biocomputing Center. Since then research interests focus on different aspects of protein sequence analysis, mainly the implementation of predictive algorithms based on methods out of machine learning approaches. The results of these works have been selected several times for presentation at the International Forum of Bioinformatics “Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ismb)”. A method (CORNET) developed in the lab for the prediction of contact maps of proteins (a relevant step for the ab initio prediction of protein 3D structure) has been scored the best of its category in the Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP) 4 (Asimolar, California, December 3-7, 2000) and at CASP5 (Asilomar, California, December 1-5, 2002). Recently a method for predicting the topography of outer membrane proteins based on HMM and sequence profile has been acknowledged with the SGI best award at ismb02 (Edmonton, Canada, August 3-7, 2002).

The unit is also active in organising training courses on Bioinformatics (www.biocomp.unibo.it).