The World Congress on Proteomics – HUPO (Human Proteome Organisation) – will take place in Geneva from 4 to 7 September. Research in the field of proteins is essential to the progress of medicine and is a jewel of Swiss scientific research. Prof. Amos Bairoch, Director of the Structural Biology and Bioinformatics Department at Geneva University, and Group Leader at the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, will receive the « HUPO Distinguished Achievement Award(*) in Proteomic Sciences » on 7 September. This Award honours Prof. Bairoch for his outstanding career in the field of protein sequencing, particularly for the development of diverse resources such as the worldwide renowned Swiss-Prot database.
Switzerland plays a predominant role in international life science research and especially in proteomics. Prof. Amos Bairoch was one of the pioneers in this field. Rewarded by the Otto Naegeli Award for the promotion of medical research in 2010, Prof Bairoch will be honoured once again for his outstanding career, during the next HUPO conference. Amos Bairoch is the founder of Swiss-Prot, the protein database used by life science researchers worldwide, which celebrated its 25th anniversary at the end of July. Two other resources, PROSITE and ENZYME, were also developed by Prof Bairoch and have since become essential tools for researchers worldwide. In 2009, Amos Bairoch started a new venture with neXtProt, a knowledge platform entirely dedicated to human proteins, which he develops as Director of the CALIPHO Group (Computer Analysis and Laboratory Investigation of Proteins of Human Origin) at the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the University of Geneva.
Proteins have many more secrets to reveal
As a PhD student in Biochemistry, Amos Bairoch had already understood the essential role protein research would play in the life sciences. He also rapidly linked this field to informatics, well aware of the high potential computers presented to foster data storage, analysis and sharing. The appearance of new technologies, such as high throughput sequencing, and of the Web comforted his vision of Research. Ever since, Swiss-Prot has been an indispensable database for the research community worldwide. Given the ever-increasing flow of protein data, proteomics and bioinformatics will undoubtedly remain promising research fields in the years to come. Prof. Bairoch now dedicates his work to human proteins. With over 50 000 users, since the launch of the beta version at the beginning of the year, the knowledge platform neXtProt is already a very successful tool in the research community. A greater knowledge and understanding of proteins, as well as of their role in health and human pathologies is essential for progress in biomedical research.
(*) The HUPO Distinguished Achievement Award is sponsored by the Journal of Proteome Research
SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is an academic not-for-profit foundation recognised of public utility. It federates bioinformatics activities throughout Switzerland. Its two-fold mission is to provide world-class core bioinformatics resources to the national and international life science research community in key fields such as genomics, proteomics and systems biology, as well as to lead and coordinate the field of bioinformatics in Switzerland. It has a long-standing tradition of producing state-of-the-art software for the life science research community, as well as carefully annotated databases. SIB includes 31 world-class research and service groups, which gather more than 450 researchers, in the fields of proteomics, transcriptomics, genomics, systems biology, structural bioinformatics, evolutionary bioinformatics, modelling, imaging, biophysics, and population genetics in Basel, Berne, Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, and Zurich. SIB expertise is widely appreciated and its services are used by Life Science researchers worldwide. www.isb-sib.ch
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