History

A Brief History of IOB

  • Spring 2000 – A committee chaired by John McDonald explores possibilities for stimulating and formalizing Bioinformatics and Genomics research and education.
    “Russell,
    Thanks for your e-mail. I probably don’t remember too much more than you already know about the beginning of IOB and I’m afraid that I didn’t keep any old documents. A few of us interested in bioinformatics (you included) were trying to get some sort of a formalized entity together. I think we were initially calling it “The Institute of Integrated Genomics (IGG)” but at some point the name got changed- I think because some people thought the name might be interpreted to exclude the other -omics which was not our intent. There were several informal meetings of various faculty across campus during the early years and I can remember going to Joe Key (VP for Research at the time) and Karen Holbrook (Provost at the time) on several occasions trying to get seed funding for a seminar program and appropriate computational facilities, etc. They were both enthusiastic and extremely helpful in getting things started. As I recall, at one point early on, we tried to outsource the computer facilities and/or to establish a centralized (state-wide) computational core but neither of those options worked out for various reasons. We also approached GRA in those early days and they became interested in encouraging a state-wide initiative in bioinformatics and ultimately established some GRA Eminent Scholar positions to stimulate efforts at the various state universities. I think Dave Puett was able to leverage one of these positions to help recruit Ying. Jessie Kissinger was one of the first genetics faculty that we recruited in the area of bioinformatics and she was instrumental in helping the effort grow-I’m sure she has memories of things that I don’t remember or perhaps have chosen to forget.
    I regret that I’m scheduled to be out of town on the 22nd and won’t be able to join you in honoring Ying but please extend my congratulations and admiration to him for doing such a fantastic job in building IOB into the great program that it is today.
    John McDonald”
  • January 2001 – A proposal for an Institute of Integrated Genomics is prepared.
  • Spring, Summer 2001 – The working group includes John McDonald, Alan Gingle, Eileen Kraemer, B.C. Wang and others. Proposals for purchasing commercial software are obtained from Viaken and Informax.
  • Fall 2001 – The proposal is recast into a proposal for an Institute of Bioinformatics.
  • February 2002 – The initial proposal is tabled in the Franklin Senate for more information, then eventually is approved.
  • Fall 2002 – A bioinformatics seminar series is initiated, organized by Eileen Kraemer.
    There are presentations by John McDonald (Review of Basics of Bioinformatics), Eileen Kraemer (micro-array data analysis), Dan Kannan (Markov models) and others.
  • Fall 2002 – The Institute of Bioinformatics is approved.
  • Fall 2002 – Dave Brown prepares the initial IOB website.
  • September 2003 – Ying Xu is hired in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology as a GRA Eminent Scholar in Bioinformatics, with the help of David Puett (head of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology).
  • Fall 2003 – Committee chaired by Jaxk Reeves and Barny Whitman prepares application for Bioinformatics Graduate Certificate Program.
  • 17 February 2004 – Ying Xu is appointed to be director of the Institute for Bioinformatics by Gordhan Patel, Vice President for Research.
  • Summer 2005 – IOB sponsors Bioinformatics training program for UGA researchers.
  • August 2005 – Jan Mrazek (Microbiology) and Shaying Zhao (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) are hired as the first faculty with half appointments in the Institute of Bioinformatics.
  • Fall 2005 – Application for Graduate Program is submitted to the Board of Regents.
  • November 2005 – Symposium. Speakers include:
    John Wooley, University of California – San Diego; Jessica Kissinger, University of Georgia; Keith Dunker, Indiana University; Erik Jakobsson, University of Illinois; Jeffrey Bennetzen, University of Georgia; David States, University of Michigan; Ross Overbeek, Fellowship for Interpretation of Genomes.
  • November 2006 – The Graduate Programs are approved by the Board of Regents.
  • July 2006 to June 2007 – Robert Scott serves as Associate Director of IOB
  • Summer 2006 – IOB sponsors Bioinformatics training program for UGA researchers.
  • 2006 – Commitment of $750,000 from GRA to purchase computing cluster.
  • 2006 to 2007 – Informal “Brown Bag Lunch” seminar series held, organized by Eileen Kraemer.
  • Fall 2006 – Bob Scott works with William Reeves of University Printing to design the IOB Logo.
  • March 2007 – Symposium. Speakers include:
    Donna Albertson, University of California – San Francisco; Jeffrey Boore, SymBio Corporation; Andrew Fire, Nobel Laureate, Stanford University; Marvin Frazier, J. Craig Venter Institute; Suzanna Lewis, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab; Maryann Martone, University of California – San Diego; Eberhard Voit, Georgia Institute of Technology; Ying Xu, University of Georgia.
  • Summer 2007 – IOB sponsors Bioinformatics training program for UGA researchers.
  • August 2007 – Liming Cai is the first graduate coordinator.
  • Fall 2007 – The first class of Bioinformatics graduate students are admitted and arrive. The number of IOB graduate students is 10.
  • Fall 2007 – BIGSA, the Bioinformatics Graduate Student Association is formed.
  • Spring 2008 – The number of new IOB graduate students admitted is 3; the total number is 13.
  • March 2008 – Symposium. Speakers include:
    Philip Bourne, University of California – San Diego; Charles Lawrence, Brown University; Michael Levine, University of California – Berkeley; Dmitri Petrov, Stanford University; Heinz-Bernd Schuttler, University of Georgia; Jeffrey Skolnick, Georgia Institute of Technology; William B. Whitman, University of Georgia; Michael Zhang, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  • Summer 2008 – IOB sponsors Bioinformatics training program for UGA researchers.
  • August 2008 – Bernd Schüttler is the second graduate coordinator.
  • August 2008 – The NSF MRI program, with matching money from OVPR, funds a grant application for an IOB computing cluster ($796,822 from NSF and $144,597 from UGARF), which becomes a large part of the rcluster computational resource.
  • August 2008 – Natarajan Kannan (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) is hired as a faculty with half appointment in the Institute of Bioinformatics.
  • Fall 2008 – The number of new IOB graduate students admitted is 12; the total number is 25.
  • January 2009 – IOB Retreat at Flinchum’s Phoenix.
  • Spring 2009 – The number of new IOB graduate students admitted is 3; the total number is 28.
  • August 2009 – Jeff Dean is the third graduate coordinator.
  • July 2009 – Liming Cai appointed as Associate Director of IOB
  • July 2009 – The IOB Graduate Program is brought within Franklin College of Arts and Sciences as its academic home.
  • Fall 2009 – The number of new IOB graduate students admitted is 10; the total number is 38.
  • Fall 2009 – IOB Faculty Retreat at Miller Learning Center.
  • Fall 2009 – First two M.S. degrees are awarded to Janani Varatharajan and Shiyao Wang.
  • Spring 2010 – The number of new IOB graduate students admitted is 4; the total number is 40.
  • Spring 2010 – IOB has first program review.
  • Summer 2010 – Two M.S. degrees are awarded to Hyong Sook Kim and to John D. Hogan.
  • Fall 2010 – The number of new IOB graduate students admitted is 7; the total number is 47.
  • December 2010 – First Ph.D. degree is awarded to Bram Sebastian.
  • Spring 2011 – The total number of IOB graduate students is 46.
  • 22 April 2011 – Symposium and Reception to recognize Ying Xu’s accomplishments as director.
  • 30 June 2011 – Ying Xu steps down as inaugural director.
  • 1 July 2011 – Jessica Kissinger becomes the second director of the Institute of Bioinformatics.
  • August 2011 – Liang Liu (Statistics) is hired as a faculty with half appointment in the Institute of Bioinformatics.