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The Bioinformatics Division of the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics (IIHG) personnel have a mix of experience including specialized experience at the Ph.D. level in both biology and specifically bioinformatics. The IIHG Bioinformatics Division provides the expertise and equipment to carry out the analysis of complex data sets. In collaboration with investigators both on-campus and off, we study a diverse set of biological questions. Our focus is to analyze large complex data sets to derive biological insight from large RT-PCR experiments, microarray analyses (both DNA and RNA), and (primarily) next-generation sequencing experiments. We have extensive experience calling variants in research and clinical exomes, targeted sequence capture, RNA-Seq, and ChIP-Seq protocols.
To support NGS analysis, the Bioinformatics Division staff has preferred access to on-campus high performance compute clusters with high bandwidth dedicated storage attached to the clusters as well as slower archival storage systems. The Bioinformatics Division also has experience using Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud compute resources as a way to address surge load, novel projects and compute / storage configurations. The Bioinformatics Division has also developed and optimized a local instillation of Galaxy for the evaluation of NGS data and developed storage capacity for these data as a resource for both the Bioinformatics Division as well as other users on campus.
The services provided by the Bioinformatics Division are provided by a charge-back or percentage-effort system. This allows both routine analysis (charge-back) and more in-depth research efforts (percentage-effort) models of collaboration.
Summer courses and other training opportunities are also offered though the division and can provide the interested student or investigator with the necessary skills and resources to participate in or complete their own analyses. We have a yearly 3-day course that brings in guest speakers as well as providing hands on tutorial sessions. Each year of the summer course focuses on a different bioinformatics sub-topic, past years included exome analysis and ChIP-seq analysis. We also have monthly bioinformatics user group meetings (BUG) that focus on both introducing new tools and techniques but also providing collaborative connections across campus.