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Università di Parma

University of Parma has a strong tradition in teaching and research in bioinformatics. The teaching named Computational Biochemistry, activated for degree in Biology in 2001, was one of the first in chronological order of bioinformatics courses in Italian universities. Since then, the teaching of bioinformatics was done seamlessly in the degrees of our university. Currently, the training offer at the University of Parma includes a mandatory course of bioinformatics skills for Bachelor degree in Biology and mandatory courses of Bioinformatics for Master of Science in Molecular Biology and for the Master of Science in Industrial Biotechnology. The research in bioinformatics in our university began in the early ’90s, thanks to pioneering work on the analysis of the non-coding transcripts by polymerase III. Among the results achieved by this research there are the identification of the complement of tRNA genes in the first eukaryotic genome and the definition of wobbling rules in the genetic code based on genomic data. The interests and research topics have been expanded/widened over the years, ranging from participation in genome sequencing projects, analysis of massive data of RNA-seq, in studies of the structure and molecular dynamics. A distinguishing feature of bioinformatics research at our university is the integration of computational and experimental approaches to the definition of functions in genes and proteins. Five research groups of our university, belonging to three different departments (Biosciences, Physics and Earth Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science) joined the expression of interest for participation in the Elixir-Ita consortium:

  • Department of Biosciences – Laboratories of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics
    • Functional prediction of genes and proteins (R. Percudani)
    • Expression profiles Network analysis (S. Ottonello, B. Montanini)
    • Retrotransposon expression profiling in the human genome (G. Dieci, D. Carnevali)
  • Department of Physics and Earth Sciences  – Biophysic
    • Structural and dynamic studies of protein systems (E. Polverini)
  • Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
    • Protein structure prediction through constraint programming (A. Dal Palù)
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