Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies Reorganizes Into Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Sciences

July 7, 2021


The Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies (IBEST) is now part of the new Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Sciences (IIDS).

Over the past two decades, the researchers of IBEST have built and maintained cutting-edge genomics and high performance computing core facilities, which were originally constructed to support interdisciplinary research in evolutionary science. During that time, the needs of the broader University of Idaho research community have evolved. Genomics and bioinformatics are now fundamental components of biomedical, agricultural, and natural resource research; high performance computing and large data sets are now required to answer the toughest questions that define the U of I’s land grant mission; and the core facilities built by IBEST have become critical university-wide research infrastructure.

To accurately represent the capabilities of our staff and infrastructure, IBEST has renamed its parent institute. This name change is intended to better reflect the skills housed within the institute and the research computing, genomics, and bioinformatics resources that are used by researchers throughout the entire university.

IIDS will house three service units. Research Computing and Data Services (RCDS) will provide high performance computing, data engineering, and scientific programming. The Genomics and Bioinformatics Resources Core (GBRC) will offer support related to the collection, analysis, and storage of genomic data sets. IIDS will be the new home of IBEST—now the Initiative for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies—which will continue to offer full-service proposal and grant support to the U of I’s thriving community of evolutionary scientists.

The new organizational structure allows a subsidy increase to critical components of research computing, data services, and genomics. This means the costs of these services are reduced to U of I researchers, increasing their competitiveness and productivity.

For more information about the reorganization, visit the new IIDS website. The service units within IIDS include:

Genomics + Bioinformatics Resources Core

The GBRC is the only comprehensive facility on the U of I campus that houses all equipment and personnel necessary to aid researchers in every aspect of high-throughput genomics research. The GBRC provides molecular equipment and expertise needed for high-throughput sequencing and partnerships with other service facilities around the U.S. Bioinformatics data scientists are available to assist researchers in designing genomic experiments and analyzing the resulting data sets.

Research Computing + Data Services

RCDS serves as a complete project life cycle support unit for data-intensive research at the U of I. RCDS provides investigators with high performance computing and large data storage capacity for analyzing and managing large volumes of research data. Scientific staff can help researchers with cutting-edge analysis techniques and creation of custom software. RCDS capabilities include data management, web and mobile application development, database design and hosting, and online learning management systems.

IBEST + Research Administration

IBEST will continue as a thriving research community within IIDS. Researchers in evolutionary science can receive proposal support and grant management services for proposals submitted through IIDS. IBEST’s support capabilities include budget preparation and management, collection and organization of documents, graphic design, and grant management. IIDS will help IBEST researchers establish inspiring new interdisciplinary collaborations by organizing events and maximize trainee success by investing in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) graduate program.