Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Facility

Dr Jenny Barna

The School's Computing Facility was set up in 1987-8 on a single VAX/VMS system purchased to run the GCG Wisconsin and other packages for molecular sequence and structure analysis, with an Evans and Sutherland graphics terminal to visualize structures.

It developed in several directions over the years. It still provides a few central servers and some support for bioinformatics and computational biology. Users remain based at many different departments: from Archaeology and Anthropology to Zoology. The service itself is based in the Department of Biochemistry. Most research themes are represented.

Support has been given to people using a wide variety of software and approaches including web interfaces, the Linux command line, and high throughput computing.

The plan since 2014 has been that this remaining School service will merge with the services provided by the High Performance Computing Service (HPCS, which has since late 2015 broadened its remit to Research Computing Services (RCS), now part of the University Information Services (UIS). This merger is being enabled by the provision of higher memory (RAM) servers (as required for some genome assemblies etc) and availability of storage (required for all Big Data projects) and virtual servers (required for web interfaces and other needs).