The Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics (IGB) was established in January 2001. As an Organized Research Unit, IGB's UC charter was to create an organizational structure for interdisciplinary research in genomics and bioinformatics, which together were (and still are) catalyzing a revolution in the scientific understanding of biological genes, proteins, networks, and systems, and their medical implications. The Institute reports directly to the UCI Vice Chancellor of Research, in keeping with its interdisciplinary nature, and is currently housed in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science building on the UC Irvine campus.
IGB rapidly became well known for its ability to foster innovative interdisciplinary activities and attract third party funding. In 2002 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the Institute $4.3 million to consolidate UCI bioinformatics educational efforts into a comprehensive, campus-wide initiative. In 2004, the Biomedical Informatics Training (BIT) Program graduated its first Ph.D. cross-trained in the life and computational sciences. In less than three years, IGB has attracted a total of $14.2 million in external funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and multiple UC sources. In fall 2003 alone, IGB was awarded an NSF Major Instrumentation (MRI) grant, an NSF Information Technology Research (ITR) grant, an NIH Frontiers in Integrative Biological Research (FIBR) grant, and an NIH Novel Technologies for In Vivo Imaging (R21 R33) grant. For more information about IGB.s latest grants and other news, see News.
Since its inception, IGB.s programs, membership and staff have grown. Originally a loosely organized structure with a Director, one staff member, and a fluid group of affiliated researchers, in 2001 the Institute added four Program Areas and Leaders. In 2002, an Associate Director, an additional Program Leader, and two staff members were added to accommodate administrative needs and a growing scientific agenda. Today, IGB has nine core Program areas, representing increasing breadth and depth of collaborative interdisciplinary projects: Biochemical Engineering, Chemical Biology, Drug Discovery, Evolutionary Genomics, Medical Informatics, Functional Genomics, Disease Genomics, Structural Genomics and Systems Biology. For more information on IGB's organizational structure, see People.