Bioinformatics Resource Centers
The Bioinformatics Resource Centers (BRCs) are a group of five internet-based research centers established in 2004 and funded by NIAID (the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.)  The BRCs were formed in response to the threats posed by emerging and re-emerging pathogens, particularly Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Category A, B, and C pathogens, and their potential use in bioterrorism. The intention of NIAID in funding these bioinformatics centers is to assist researchers involved in the experimental characterization of such pathogens and the formation of drugs, vaccines, or diagnostic tools to combat them.
The main goals of the BRCs are as follows:
1) To create comprehensive databases of reliable, up-to-date bioinformatic data (genetic, proteomic, biochemical, or microbiological) related to the pathogens of interest;
2) To provide researchers with easy access to these data through Internet-based search and data retrieval user interfaces;
3) To provide researchers with relevant, state-of-the art computational tools for bioinformatic analysis of these data.
The five BRCs are supported by various institutions, both publicly and privately owned, throughout the USA and Canada. Each BRC focuses on a different group of pathogens. The Pathogen Portal serves as a common repository and provides summary information about and links into the BRCs.
- National Institutes of Health
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- Categories of biological agents
- Overview, Bioinformatics Resource Centers, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), January 10, 2008.
- CDC Bioterrorism Agents and Diseases (By Category), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Department of Health and Human Services), accessed July 8, 2008.
- NIAID home page
- Bioinformatics Resource Centers The NIAID page describing the goals and activities of the BRCs
- PathogenPortal Hub site for the BRCs; provides summary information
- EuPathDB Eukaryotic Pathogens BRC
- IRD Influenza Research Database BRC
- ViPR Virus Database and Analysis Resource BRC
- PATRIC PathoSystems Resource Integration Center
- VectorBase VectorBase BRC