Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems


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Improving genome annotation, molecular structure and interaction
 prediction: an algorithmic study of biomolecular functions

Project Leader: Anne Condon (Professor), Computer Science , UBC
Phone Number:604-822-8175
Fax Number: 604-822-5485
E-mail Address:
Web Page:

Project Description

Computational methods have transformed biological research. A striking example is the use of sophisticated algorithms in sequencing the human genome, for which the initial draft was completed in 2001. With the genomes of several other organisms now also in hand, the challenge is to understand the genome. Our goals are to develop new algorithms that will help to annotate genes and other functionally active parts of the genome or the cell, to predict the exact form of interactions between these components, and to uncover patterns of interaction in networks of proteins that cut across organisms. Central to our approaches will be consideration of the structure of proteins and RNA molecules. Structure in large part determines the function of these bio-molecules. Algorithms that exploit structural information are proving to significantly enhance the effectiveness of gene annotation schemes.

This work has enormous relevance to our understanding of our bodies, and our evolutionary relationships to other species. We still do not know precisely how many genes we have, or what most of them do. New roles played by functionally active RNA molecules in the cell are still being discovered. Improved understanding will have applications in disease diagnosis and treatment. The ability to computationally predict the structure of molecules, and to design molecules with particular structures, is also important for development of micro-array technologies and even new treatment regimes and drugs.

Page last updated: Oct 7, 2007

Page last updated by: Chris Thachuk

Page buit by: Rosalía Aguirre-Hernández

For questions or suggestions please contact Anne Condon, condon [at]