oBIG – ‚omics Bioinformatik für Systemmedizin und Gesundheit‘

oBIG is a partner initiative between the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioinformatics at the University of Leipzig (IZBI) (Henry Löffler-Wirth, Dr. rer. nat., coordinator of the project, head of the junior research group ‚Algorithms for Complex Data in the Life Sciences‘ / Hans Binder, PD Dr. rer. nat. habil, Co-coordinator, Executive Coordinator of IZBI) and the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia (NAS RA) (Arsen Arakelyan, Dr. rer. nat., Co-coordinator, Director of IMB; Head of the Department of Bioinformatics; Head of the Department of Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology at the Russian-Armenian University of Yerevan).

Our goal is to build a modern genome bioinformatics to study the causes of complex diseases in Armenia. The mastery of this technology is an important prerequisite for the study of the relationship between genetic, molecular and environmental factors of these diseases with the aim of improving diagnosis, prognosis, as well as prevention and therapy. Bioinformatics and systems biology support modern high-throughput technologies and epidemiological studies in molecular medicine by generating medically useful knowledge from acquired ‚omics‘ and clinical data. In addition to a modern informatics infrastructure, powerful algorithms and methods, this requires above all excellently trained and experienced specialists.

We want to expand the successful collaboration between the Center for Bioinformatics (IZBI) at Leipzig University and the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) of the Republic of Armenia in Yerevan, which has existed since 2012, into a strategic partnership.

In terms of content, we focus on three areas:

First, we will work together on current research topics on systems biology of cancer, lung and infectious diseases, thus strengthening the young bioinformatics group at IMB.

Second, the partner initiative supports the establishment of methods for bioinformatic evaluation of genome and complex phenotype data in epidemiological studies on the health status of the Armenian population. Here, experiences of the Leipzig group in establishing and operating the Leipzig Center for Civilization Diseases will be used.

Third, the project supports graduate and postgraduate education of undergraduate students, PhD students and young scientists in Armenia in the field of bioinformatics and systems biology. The topics will be addressed in a joint project group consisting of collaborators from both partners. We will jointly supervise master theses of Armenian students including an internship at IZBI. The planned scientific contents and structures shall be established sustainably and shall be applicable in other countries of the South Caucasus region. The project is supported by a network of international partners. In perspective, our goal is to create important prerequisites for an ‚Armenian Genome Center‘ at the IMB.

project leader Dr. Henry Löffler-Wirth

duration 01.06.2018 – 30.11.2020

third-party funding