Ioannis Xenarios
University of Lausanne
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What do we do?

With a multidisciplinary team of scientists and technical staff, at Vital-IT we maintain a competency centre in bioinformatics and computational biology. Our infrastructure currently spreads across six institutions that maintain bio-technological platforms: SIB, the Universities of Geneva, Lausanne, Fribourg and Bern as well as EPFL. At Vital-IT we enable scientists to access state-of-the-art computational infrastructures (processing, storage and archiving) as well as expertise in data analysis and algorithmic development. We partner with scientists to build computational solutions facilitating their research or to transform their ideas into production-quality software. We support postgraduate education through training and workshops in coordination with SIB and institutional partners.


The Vital-IT Group in Lausanne and the Swiss-Prot Group in Geneva provide unique and complementary resources to the community. Vital-IT provides computational infrastructure (computing and storage), software and bioinformatics analysis, whereas the Swiss-Prot Group provides biological knowledge (UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot, PROSITE, etc.).

Highlights 2016

During 2016, Vital-IT’s infrastructure grew to 6PetaBytes of storage and 7,000 computational cores, all fully dedicated to life science and medical applications. It embeds over 2,400 bioinformatics-supporting software packages that enable reproducible science and data life cycle management.
Vital-IT’s infrastructure supports several hundred research projects and maintains widely-used SIB resources, i.e. Swiss-Prot, MetaNetX, NeXtProt, OpenFlu, LipidX, SwissLipids, SwissDock, Swiss-Model and the ExPaSy portal. It also maintains more than 140 websites and services for its partner groups with thousands of daily visitors. The demand for supporting research projects grows constantly; there were over 1,000 active users in 2016. Vital-IT collaborates on research activities as part of, and technology and development projects funded by the European Commission, CTI/KTI. It also provides training to biomedical and life scientists on how to develop and use bioinformatics software in a high-performance computing environment.

Main publications 2016

  • Moretti S et al. MetaNetX/MNXref - reconciliation of metabolites and biochemical reactions to bring together genome-scale metabolic networks. Nucleic acids research, 44 (2016) doi: 10.1093/nar/gki490
  • Roduit S et al. Analysis of the dynamic co-expression network of heart regeneration in the zebrafish. Nature Scientific reports, 6 (2016) doi: 10.1038/srep26822
  • Dorier J et al. Boolean regulatory network reconstruction using literature based knowledge with genetic algorithm optimization method. BMC bioinformatics, 17 (2016) doi: 10.1093/nar/gki490

Our research topics: