Charter of the Gulf Coast Consortium for Bioinformatics
Major advances in the biological sciences have traditionally occurred when new tools and techniques become available, allowing researchers to ask new questions, or probe more deeply into the answers to existing ones.
While the use of numerical and computational techniques has always been a part of such research, the difficulty and cost of acquiring data of sufficient quantity and quality has historically limited the range of techniques in use. The steady progression in computer and automation technologies means that today, biological research is no longer limited by what data can be collected at the bench, but rather by how that data can be analyzed.
The kinds of data now available, as well as their volume and complexity, make the application and further development of advanced and novel algorithmic and analytical techniques from the computer and information sciences practicable. In addition, the complexity of the biological systems that are now amenable to experimentation means that careful modeling is necessary to enable the biological researcher to accurately plan and predict the results of new experimental procedures.
Post graduate training, for both the new and established researcher, will be facilitated by the consortium through seminars, workshops, and regional research conferences, both directly sponsored and organized, as well as jointly with other research organizations in the area. Support of infrastructure to simplify communication and collaboration among consortium members is also a critical part of the GCCB mission, as well as serving as a secondary research focus.
The GCCB currently assists member researchers in establishing new research collaborations and seeking outside funding for them. In the future, provision of graduate and postgraduate fellowships in bioinformatics, as well as direct funding of selected pilot projects, is a consortium goal.