SIB along the years
Birth of Swiss-Prot
Amos Bairoch, then a PhD student at the University of Geneva, creates what has since become the world reference resource for protein knowledge, UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot. At that time, the various versions are distributed on magnetic tapes!
Creation of the first life science web portal
To exchange information within the community, Ron Appel launches the first life science server, which counts among the 150 first websites in the world. It is accessed 7,295 times even during its first month of existence, and over 2 million times per month a few years later.
A funding crisis leading to SIB's creation in 1998
The Swiss-Prot knowledgebase, which by then has around 100,000 users, is threatened with extinction due to a lack of financial support. Thousands of support messages from the international scientific community flow in. As a result, the Swiss authorities recommend that a stable long-term funding mechanism be sought to ensure the survival of Swiss-Prot and bioinformatics, in the form of a publicly funded foundation.
Creation of the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics
A team of visionary Swiss scientists (Ron Appel, Amos Bairoch, Philipp Bucher, Victor Jongeneel and Manuel Peitsch) unite to create one sole bioinformatics organization. It includes five founding groups from the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne, the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, the Institut Suisse de Recherche Expérimentale sur le Cancer (ISREC) and Glaxo Wellcome Experimental Research.
Launch of Protein Spotlight
The online popular science magazine, launched by SIB’s Swiss-Prot Group and written by Vivienne Baillie Gerritsen, science writer, tells the tale of one protein each month.
Creation of the UniProt consortium
SIB, the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the Georgetown University’s Protein Information Resource (PIR) unite to jointly maintain and develop the most widely used protein information resource in the world, which includes the Swiss-Prot database.
Creation of the first bioinformatics core facility
Launch of the high-performance computing centre Vital-IT by SIB, the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne as well as EPFL, in cooperation with Hewlett-Packard, Intel Corporation and Oracle.
First [BC]2 conference 'Life sciences meet IT'
SIB, the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and the Friedrich Miescher Institute launch the first Basel Computational Biology conference, to foster collaborations between academic, biomedical and pharmaceutical research institutes and to share knowledge, resources and services in the field of computational biology and bioinformatics.
SIB's 10th anniversary
To mark the occasion, SIB produced a film tracing 10 years of Swiss bioinformatics, presenting the Institute as well as the latest advances of its service and research groups.
Creation of the Clinical Bioinformatics Group
The group aims at providing health professionals with expertise and support for the organization, analysis and interpretation of patient molecular data, so that they may be used for diagnostic purpose.
A non-invasive prenatal diagnostic test
Vital-IT develops the algorithms behind a test that allows the detection of chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus from the mother’s blood - the test is the first of its kind in Europe.
ChromosomeWalk, the website
Creation of the SIB Training Group
The group integrates and harmonizes existing initiatives, and provides a more comprehensive and complete training portfolio. From this moment on, over 50 courses are organized per year.
Launch of a cancer diagnostic platform
The Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) and SIB develop OncoBenchTM, a sample-to-report tool used by HUG for faster routine cancer diagnosis.
Launch of the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) initiative
SIB plays a pivotal role as Data Coordination Centre (DCC) and as the provider of a secure infrastructure for biomedical research in Switzerland (BioMedIT).
20 years of SIB
A year of festivities and projects supported by many sponsors to celebrate 20 years of commitment to life sciences and health (see Celebration highlights section below).
A brief history of SIB
Dive into the Institute’s history and its remarkable growth, from the early days to a mature national infrastructure and diverse community of 800 scientists in 2018, leading research and providing in-depth bioinformatics expertise to the life science and clinical community.
Sustained federal support
Interview of Mauro Dell’Ambrogio
Evolution of the SERI funding
A sustained support of the federal government to SIB over the years, matching the growing need for bioinformatics infrastructure provision.
20 years of commitment to life sciences and health
SIB, the movie
A steady increase of the bioinformatics community
SIB Members, Groups and Employees over the years.
SIB publications over time
Number of publications with an SIB (co-)author since 1998
Making open data sustainable
SIB is committed to making open access a reality for the information contained in its resources. It is also concerned about the sustainability of open access data in the long run, and has conducted a study to identify a sustainable funding model for knowledgebases.
"Science Fiction": Discover science in a different way
Are researchers austere? Is bioinformatics arid? Judge for yourself, with this handsome book inviting you on an aesthetic and fantasy-like journey to the land of biological data science.
Genome Jumper, the game to explore the human genome
How come some people don't have fingerprints? Why are some of us more sensitive to caffeine? And what has bioinformatics got to do with it?
Download and play our mobile game Genome Jumper to find out!
Hoisting the colours of Swiss bioinformatics
Banners could be seen on the buildings of the University of Lausanne, the Biozentrum at the University of Basel and the University of Geneva – three of SIB’s main locations.