While chemistry and biology are disciplines that existed long before computers, computational approaches to these subjects have become essential—indeed central—to modern efforts in these fields.
In the Computational Sciences and Informatics Department at GNF, we work with scientists across the institute, providing expertise and the latest computational tools for managing and analyzing data. Many scientists at the institute continually innovate new technologies for automation and parallelization of laboratory experiments, and we make sure these data can be leveraged for scientific discovery.
Our department serves as a caretaker for data from the millions of individual biological and chemical experiments that GNF performs each week. We work with our colleagues across GNF to determine their needs, use modern principles of software engineering and database design to ensure all data are warehoused properly, and design user-friendly tools to enable scientists to access and analyze this data. In cases where the informatics tools we design could benefit a broad group of researchers, we release these tools into the public domain through open source efforts or through our GNF Systems division.
In addition to providing cutting-edge tools for research, we develop and apply algorithms to convert data to knowledge. Our department has a number of computational scientists engaged in original research. Some seek to uncover the wealth of information contained in genome sequence and genetic variation data through advanced techniques in machine learning and statistics. Others mine chemical space in search of novel and potent lead molecules. We also work closely with scientists in our Structural Biology Department to model interactions between small molecules and biological macromolecules to guide rational drug design. In these areas, computational methods are effectively used to generate accurate and precise hypotheses, and, together with our colleagues, advance GNF’s efforts in technology development and drug discovery.