A team of academics from King’s College London, have been awarded £20,000 to develop a unique web-based collaboration platform which will harness the ‘considerable expertise and academic excellence’ of bioinformaticians working across King’s Health Partners.

The money was awarded from King’s Together, an annual £1,000,000 seed-funding scheme which offers researchers the chance to bid for grants of up to £20,000 for major research projects that will help the university realise its interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary vision.

Dr Emanuele de Rinaldis, Head of the BRC’s Translational Bioinformatics platform, was part of the bid team. He said:

“We have an impressive range of bioinformatics capabilities across Kings Health Partners. The community, however, suffers in organization and coordination of initiatives, due its fragmented spread of resources and people, and the limited sharing of information, tools and resources.

“We hope that this platform will allow us to better utilise the expertise across King’s Health Partners and allow our colleagues to more easily find bioinformaticians that can help provide invaluable expertise to their studies.”

The increasing importance of bioinformatics

Scientists have more data available to them than ever before. In some studies researchers will collect hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of pieces of data. Because of this, large-scale studies have become increasingly reliant on the expertise bioinformaticians, who apply computation techniques to make sense of large data sets.

The BRC’s Translational Bioinformatics Platform provides expert and timely bioinformatics support and data analysis services. The team aim to build and maintain the scientific, analytical and computational infrastructure that enables the application of advanced bioinformatics analyses to translational research.

Dr de Rinaldis prepared the bid with colleagues from across King’s College London: Professor Franca Fraternali, Randall Division of Cellular and Molecular Biophysics; Professor Richard Dobson, Deapartment of Social Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry; and Professor Michael Simpson, Division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine. They hope to launch the platform before summer 2017.