The BiowebDB consortium was created in 2003 and initially funded by CNPq in 2004. While it involves several Brazilian universities and research institutes, its multi-user “Comparative genomics” platform is physically hosted at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute, FIOCRUZ. Its portal and tools receive many visits a month, mostly from Brazil, USA and some parts of Europe.
BiowebDB at FIOCRUZ
At FIOCRUZ, BiowebDB is the official “Comparative Genomics” multi-user platform of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute and coordinated by Dr. Alberto Dávila.
Comparative approaches involving the integrative use of heterogeneous databases, analyses tools, distributed computing and (re)annotation system as well as sensitive similarity detection algorithms have been catalyzed by a variety of sequenced genomes. The BiowebDB consortium has initially established collaborations with GeneDB and TcruziDB. Aiming to build an integrated, user-friendly and flexible multi-user platform, capable to deal with different datasets and genome projects, BiowebDB’s platform is being designed to provide interoperability among different analyses tools and more sensitive algorithms for distant homology detection. It centers on the use of ontology based metadata, XML, Web services, as well as a combination of Hidden Markov Models with AI technologies for algorithm improvement. The BiowebDB multi-user platform is being progressively implemented and is publicly available at http://www.biowebdb.org.
Since its creation the BiowebDB consortium aimed to establish collaborations with several groups to complement and spread its researches and activities. Some international events as the International Workshops on Genomics Databases ( 2005, 2007 and 2010 ) and EMBO Courses ( 2007 and 2008 ) have been organized during the last years. Also, the consortium has been instrumental in the creation of (a) the Graduate Program on Computational and Systems Biology at FIOCRUZ and (b) the Rio de Janeiro Network for Computational and Systems Biology : http://www.biowebdb.org/rbcs/ as well as supporting the Comparative genomics and proteomics of pathogenic trypanosomatids project funded by FINEP. More recently, several member institutes of BiowebDB joined a European-funded project for grid development [ EELA-2 ] in several areas, including Bioinformatics.
Finally, we recently organized an International Systems Biology Course and created a Systems Biology blog for that. Also, we assisted in the proposal to create the Computational and Systems Biology Pole at FIOCRUZ.