Joint BSC - CRG - IRB Programme in Computational Biology
EBL Director: Isabelle Brun-Heath
Senior Officer: Núria Villegas
Recent progress in genomics and high throughput techniques has brought an explosion of biological data, which in turn has provided a great opportunity to computationally predict the complex biological networks in living organisms with high accuracy. However, implementation of computational methods in research might raise questions about the predictive capabilities of computer simulations. Since 2008, the Experimental Bioinformatics Lab (EBL), as a part of the Joint Research Program between the Institute of Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), is dedicated to implement advanced experimental approaches that enable computational biologists in the Program the possibility of integrating experimental measurements into their predictions.
The lab is organized in subareas specifically designed to support large-scale experiments in molecular biology, protein biochemistry, and cell culture manipulation (mammalian, bacteria and yeast). Data storage and management are centralized in an in-house database for an efficient lab stewardship.
The EBL, in collaboration with the Molecular Modeling and Bioinformatics (MMB) group, has established seven experimental pipelines at the molecular and genome-wide levels that will ultimately derive into integrative models to predict chromatin higher structural organization and nucleosome positioning as a function of cell activity and methylation pattern. In addition, we collaborate with the BSC Computational Genomics group in the analysis of the transcriptional activity of computationally predicted human promoters.
Furthermore, in collaboration with the Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology (SBNB) group, the lab has implemented experimental pipelines with interaction discovery techniques for a dry-wet cycle approach to describe pathological pathways at the molecular level. We have three ongoing projects associated to Alzheimer’s disease, colorectal and breast cancers.
Lastly, the lab and the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics group have established a methodology for the functional and in vivo validation of new structural insights of androgen receptor as well as for the study of molecular complexes of the protein in a biological background.