Subscribe to Syndicate

Thomas Lengauer is president of the leading international society for bioinformatics

Thomas Lengauer, director at the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science and spokesman of the Center for Bioinformatics at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, has become president of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB).

Bioinformatics analyzes the function of living organisms on a molecular level with mathematical models and algorithms. The field gained its central importance with developments in molecular biology, which provide cell-wide information on the hereditary information, i.e., the blueprint of the cell (genomics), the genes expressed in the cell (transcriptomics), the protein molecules (proteomics) and the metabolites (metabolomics) produced in the cell as well as their interactions (interactomics). Current research focuses on the regulation of molecular processes in cells (epigenomics) and the molecular basis of diseases. Bioinformatics provides computer-based tools for molecular biology experiments in order to analyze the extensive data obtained with regard to biologically relevant patterns (data mining) and to develop mathematical models for biological structures and processes. Extensive software systems are developed and used to accomplish these tasks.

"Our society is currently well positioned, but should continue to grow in order to address the tasks of the future," explains Professor Lengauer. "We need to further improve bioinformatics skills and capabilities among our partners in the life sciences." In pharmaceutical research, health research and biotechnology, for example, a more precise understanding of the complex interactions of the various biomolecules in organisms is essential; the availability of extensive data collections, computing power and efficient analysis algorithms has opened up new development opportunities. Lengauer continues: "I see it as my task as the president to further strengthen bioinformatics as an interdisciplinary area. Biologists, in particular, can benefit from our findings and tools in their research and are increasingly dependent on them."

You can read the complete article here.