Molecular and Computational Biology Research School

The MCB partners

MCB is founded on the molecular biological research at Department of Biological Sciences and Sars and the bioinformatical research at II and CBU, which comprise about 30 research groups. It is expected that both students and staff participating in this multidisciplinary research school will become more aware of research within the school and that this may stimulate collaborative efforts.

Sars has established a strong research programme focused on molecular and comparative developmental biology using marine chordates (Oikopleura, zebrafish) and cnidarians as model systems. At the Department of Biological Sciences, research focused on protein structure and function, developmental biology, functional genomics and structural bioinformatics are prominent. Bioinformatics at II and CBU includes research on microarray and proteomics data, comparative genomics and gene regulation, molecular evolution and molecular dynamics and simulation.The At the Department of Biomedicine research is focussed on basic and translational biomedicine with relevance for basic biological themes, a number of diseases and biomedical innovation.  Sars hosts the FUGE zebrafish platform and is a partner of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. In addition, a number of active research collaborations have been established locally, nationally and internationally, including several EU-funded projects.

Department of Biological Sciences

The research activity of BIO covers a wide spectrum, from proteins to genes and enzymes to processes in cells and further on to the growth, reproduction and survival of organisms to the dynamics and structure of populations, communities and ecosystems. Our research goes from the very basic to understand to origin of life, to the more applied to understand how biological systems are influences by human activities and how we can manage the services provides by ecosystems.  Questions related to protein structure and function, developmental biology, functional genomics and structural bioinformatics are prominent in the experimental life science research at the department.  The model systems are eukaryotes (animals and/or cell cultures) and prokaryotes (bacteria and/or virus). Several groups are working on embryology and sexual development of fish, and issues related to environmental toxicology. Bioinformatics research is a growing field of research, in collaboration with CBU and Department of Informatics. The activity includes development and use of bioinformatics tools and databases.

Computational Biology Unit

The Computational Biology Unit (CBU) performs research in the area of bioinformatics and computational biology focusing on gene expression and regulation, sequence analysis, and protein structure prediction and dynamics. CBU is the coordinating partner of the FUGE (functional genomics) technology platform for bioinformatics and as such it has a service and training activity. The unit develops algorithms and methods for the analysis of molecular biology data and make these available through computer programs and/or web services. CBU researchers perform computational analyses to biological and medical problems. The unit is involved in a number of collaborations with experimental groups at MBI, Sars, the medical faculty and the Institute for Marine Research in Bergen and a number of other groups nationally and internationally. In addition the unit is involved in development and implementation of standards for data exchange and integration of databases and tools.

Department of Informatics

In general the research in the bioinformatics group at Department of Informatics (II) focuses on development of methods and algorithms for analyzing molecular biology data. The groups work on analysis of microarray gene expression and proteomics data, on methods for the analysis of sequences with a special focus on transcriptomics, and on development of methods for protein structure analysis and prediction. The groups use methods from algorithms and algorithm analysis, pattern recognition and classification, and statistics to approach problems in molecular biology. The emphasis is on developing methods that contribute to a better understanding of biological and biomedical data.

The Sars Centre

Research at the Sars Centre essentially uses two approaches with a broad variation of aquatic animal species and advanced molecular /genomic technologies. One is the model system approach, in which these species facilitate investigations due to their convenient properties, as for example when zebrafish is exploited to study vertebrate and human development. The other approach aims at characterizing genomic and functional variation during evolution, through comparisons between distinct animal phyla, as for example between bilaterian and nonbilaterian animals (using cnidarians) or between chordates and non-chordates (using tunicates). In any situation, the Sars Centre favors species that are genetically tractable.

The Department of Biomedicine

The research of the Department of Biomedicine is within basic and translational biomedicine with relevance for basic biological themes, a number of diseases and biomedical innovation.

Keywords for department research are biomedicine, translational research, cancer, neurology, physiology, cell biology, molecular biology, circulation, signal transmission, proteomic, imaging, MRI and nano-science.

The Department of Biomedicine belongs to the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.