Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech holds grand opening for Facility I

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 21, 2004 – Congressmen Rick Boucher, D-9th, and Bob Goodlatte, R-6th, will be featured speakers at a grand opening for Bioinformatics Facility I, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute's new facility on Virginia Tech's campus. The event will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 24, at the corner of Washington Street and Duckpond Drive.

In addition to remarks from Boucher and Goodlatte, the program also will highlight the Institute's contribution to Virginia Tech's goal of becoming a top-30 research university, as well as its role in economic development for the Commonwealth. The festivities will include tours of the new 59,000-square-foot facility, as well as presentations on the Institute's research programs.

Bioinformatics is biologically oriented computer science techniques and technologies that help scientists analyze and understand genomics data. At Virginia Tech's Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI), cutting-edge research is melded with state-of-the-art supercomputers, vast databases and complex software to analyze data that has emerged from the sequencing of the human genome.

VBI was developed in July 2000 as a shared resource and flagship bioinformatics research institute. The institute's faculty and staff encourage research collaboration to increase the understanding of molecular, cellular, and environmental interactions that affect human health, agricultural systems, and the environment. By integrating experimental and computational laboratories, VBI provides a unique research platform to all stakeholders on a cost-recovery basis.

In three years of operation, VBI's multidisciplinary research programs have leveraged a contract base of more than $36 million from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Research collaborations with IBM, Sun Microsystems, Johns Hopkins University, Incogen, the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, European Media Labs, Beckman Coulter and others highlight the quality of the research.

VBI researchers are working to cure many human, crop, and animal diseases; create high-yield, insect- and disease-resistant crops; and provide bioinformatics information and tools to support further discoveries.