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SIB along the years

  1. 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!

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  2. 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.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  3. 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.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  4. 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.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  5. 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.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  6. 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.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  7. 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.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  8. 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.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  9. 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.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  10. 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.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  11. 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.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  12. ChromosomeWalk, the website

    A virtual, award-winning online exhibition introducing the human genome and bioinformatics to the public.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  13. 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.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  14. 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.

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  15. 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).

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

  16. 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).

    More in the SIB Profile 2018

20 years of commitment

SIB, the movie

What is bioinformatics?

More on 'Why bioinformatics'

Each year, our outreach activities introduce bioinformatics to:

2,100 participants including

1,600 students (12-18 years old)

More on our outreach activities

Faces of bioinformatics

All roads lead to bioinformatics

Data from 110 SIB Members, 2017 internal survey

Bioinformatics as a career

Data from 110 SIB Members, 2017 internal survey

Interview of Mauro Dell’Ambrogio

Read the full interview

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.

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

More on scientific collaborations

Development of training activities

From introductions to sequence analysis, protein structure, statistics or phylogeny in the early days, SIB Training activities gradually covered more advanced and technical topics: high-performance computing and programming as well as high-throughput data analysis.

More on our training activities

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.

Read the full interview

Celebration highlights

Our birthday sponsors

We were able to finance all our anniversary projects thanks to the generous support of our sponsors.

"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.

Read more

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.

Hoisting the colours of Swiss bioinformatics

Banners celebrating SIB’s 20th anniversary can 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.

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!

A webseries, a mobile game and a book...

To mark our 20th anniversary in a surprising way, several projects will promote bioinformatics within and outside the research community along the year: a 7-episodes humoristic web series, to share the everyday life and challenges of a bioinformatician; a mobile game “Genome Jumper”, to explore our genetic variability - and why we have curly or straight hair; a science and art book to discover the colourful and surprising side of SIB’s Group Leaders, captured by Swiss photographer Nicolas Righetti, while learning about the history of bioinformatics.