Virus Bioinformatics research excellence and innovation with deep impact for a better, healthy world.
Bringing together the excellence of virology and bioinformatics in Europe.
- Solidify the exchange of ideas and initiate scientific cooperations between bioinformaticians and virologists
- Develop specific bioinformatical tools to be applied in virology
- Facilitate interactions between between industry and academia
- Implement third-party funded collaborative joint-funded projects on bioinformatics and virology that achieve more than the sum of their parts
- Increase the international visibility of virus bioinformatics
- Promote young scientists and advance teaching of virus bioinformatics.
- Organise training courses in virus bioinformatics.
Viruses are the cause of a considerable burden to human and animal health. In the last years we have witnessed both the emergence of new viral diseases (e.g. MERS, SARS) and the re-emergence of known diseases in new geographical areas (e.g. Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya). The increased global risk of viral emergence is due to a variety of social, environmental and ecological factors. Climate change, deforestation, urbanization, and the unprecedented mobility of goods, people, animals and disease vectors are all elements that are facilitating the spread of viral diseases and creating potentially ideal conditions for pandemics. The power of new genome sequencing technologies, associated with new tools to handle “big data”, provide unprecedented opportunities to address fundamental questions in virology.
Bioinformatics is focusing on bacteria and eukaryotic model organisms while virologists have an urgent need of virus-specific bioinformatical tools. In comparison to bacteriology, the cooperation with bioinformaticians is underdeveloped in virology. Apart from pioneering work on HIV-1 and influenza, these two communities have interacted surprisingly sporadically.