CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN BIOINFORMATICS
The centre at Madurai Kamaraj University(MKU) was started in 1986 as a Distributed Information Centre(DIC) under the aegis of Biotechnology Information Systems network(BTISnet) of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. At the initial stage, the centre had minimal facility and in due course, it had gradually built up its infrastructure facility and manpower development. DBT has elevated the centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics in 2003.
The centre established its National High Resolution Graphics (NHRG) Facility in 1996. The faculty along with the technical staff at the centre constantly upgrades the NHRG facilities. This provides valuable opportunity for the users for carrying out computational work in the field of genomics, proteomics and structural bioinformatics. In 1996, the teaching course on Advance Diploma in bioinformatics was initiated by the faculty at the centre. The aim of this course to teach and train students of various disciplines to acquire the basic and advance knowledge in Bioinformatics.
Since the majority of students who completed the course invariably went for higher studies, the course was modified accordingly to be a post graduate MSc Computational Biology network programme involving Madurai Kamaraj University, Anna University and Pondicherry University. The area of specialization of the centre is focused on Structural Bioinformatics and Genetic Engineering. The main activity of the centre, in addition to the teaching programme focuses on research and providing services in the major thrust areas such as structural bioinformatics, proteomics, creation of databases, data mining, molecular modeling dynamics and computer aided drug design.
Also, the centre is highly accessible to teachers and researchers in the region. The faculty at the centre together with the faculty of School of Bioteachnology performs collaborative research work and teaching as well. The centre has played an important role in the growth of Bioinformatics in this region and has also contributed significantly to the manpower development.