Bioinformatics Center, University of Pune

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Last Updated: September 1, 2005
Location: Pune, Maharashtra, India
Subordinate To: University of Pune
Size: N/A
Facility Status: Active

The center was set up to function as an information base with resources and databases in the areas of biotechnology and the life sciences. It generates information relevant to specific areas, and then coordinates the information and makes it available to interested parties. It acts as a network where scientists and entrepreneurs can access information related to their area of interest. It identifies and implements necessary information systems and software. Lastly, it conducts seminars, workshops, and training courses related to areas of interest.

The center was established in 1987 at the University of Pune as part of the Department of Zoology and one of nine Distributed Information Centers under the Biotechnology Information System (BTIS) of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. In September 1993, the center moved to its independent premises on university campus. In 1997, the Advanced Diploma degree was instituted and became one of the first Bioinformatics courses offered in India.

The center maintains databases covering a variety of subjects, such as the Animal Virus Information System, Agricultural Pests in India, Nucleic Acid Structures, Human Genome Maps, and RKC codes for Microbes. The Animal Virus Information System contains data on 1,700 different viruses and the appropriate links and annotations from related databases. Mirror sites to the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and the Protein Data Bank (PDB) of the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB), USA, are also maintained. Recently, the Centre established a mirror site to the alliance for e-learning resources in bioinformatics. The center interacts with many private companies, including Frontier Information Technologies Ltd., Secunderabad and Satyam Computer Services Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad.

In addition to providing education in bioinformatics, the center operates a second wing consisting of doctors, post-doctoral students, research assistants, and scientists performing research in areas closely related to bioinformatics. They research such projects as computer-aided identification and classification of viruses, studies on the proteins of viruses, analysis of human DNA sequences, analysis of inter-residue calcium distances and their implications in protein structure, flexibility and order in nucleic acids (studying of the backbone conformation of oligonucleotides), use of genomic and metabolic pathway data to model the de novo purine biosynthesis pathway in Helicobacter Pylori, molecular dynamics simulations using parallel AMBER (a programming system for microprocessors), multi-dimensional simulations of promoter sequences, modeling of the peptides for rheumatoid arthritis factor and B2-microglobulin, homology modeling of the variable regions of heavy chains of Rh, IgM, and Wegener's Disease autoantibodies, a peptide vaccine modeling for Japanese encephalitis, homology modeling of the envelope glycoprotein of Japanese encephalitis virus, and a prediction of 3D structure of asparagine synthetase. Through the university, the center awards Advanced Diplomas and Masters of Sciences in bioinformatics.

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