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Computational approaches in analysis of P-type ATPases

Group leader: ass.prof. Christian N.S. Pedersen

The staff and students at BiRC are engaged in a diverse range of bioinformatics activities ranging from the development of statistical models and computational algorithms to analysis of biological data at the DNA, RNA and protein levels in a variety of species. Analysis of data is most often performed in close collaboration with the Department of Molecular Biology and the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Aarhus, or a variety of national and international collaborators.

Our research focuses on development and implementation of efficient algorithms and statistical modelling of biological and medical problems, based e.g. on the principles of molecular evolution. This is reflected in the fact that an equal share of computer scientists, statisticians and biologists are employed at BiRC.

Algorithmic bioinformatics

The efficiency of algorithms or of data representation is often the difference between feasible and infeasible data analysis. By improving our algorithms, we enable research that would not otherwise be possible. This project is concerned with the development of efficient algorithms and efficient implementation of software for bioinformatics problems.

Mathematical biology

We develop mathematical and statistical models, tools and theory of relevance in biology and molecular medicine. In particular, we are interested in deriving mathematical properties of models and understand the results in the context of real data. We are driven by the complexity of biological systems and the desire to understand biology quantitatively, rather than empirically.  Currently, our interests include modelling of post-translational modification in cellular systems and modelling of evolution in cancer.

Structural bioinformatics

Understanding the structure, function and dynamics of proteins are important aspects of studying molecular systems and designing novel drugs. Structural bioinformatics tries to understand these aspects using computational and mathematical models while relying on chemical and physical properties of molecules and their surroundings.

At BiRC we are particularly focused on the development of models and tools for molecular docking, and the dynamics of membrane proteins. The researchers involved in these activities collaborate closely with Molegro ApS, a company involved with development of software for molecular docking, and with PUMPKIN, a research center at the university interested in P-type ATPases in the cellular membrane.