The NICHD Bioinformatics and Scientific Programming Core (BSPC) supports the intramural program with expertise in genomics, computational biology, algorithm design, software engineering, data integration, analysis, and visualization. We work closely with researchers to understand the underlying biology so we can provide the best possible analysis and insight. In doing so, we promote bioinformatics not solely as a support service, but as a critical component of biological research complementary to traditional laboratory and clinical research.


Please contact ryan.dale@nih.gov to set up an initial meeting about any of the below capabilities.

We perform all manner of bioinformatics analysis, including but not limited to genomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, nuclear architecture analysis (RNA-seq, scRNA-seq, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, scATAC-seq, CUT&RUN, RIP-seq, Hi-C, Capture-C, whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing, germline and somatic variant calling, methylation analysis, etc), functional analysis (GO analysis, pathway analysis) and the analysis and integration of all of these and more with custom Python and R code. We also learn emerging technology, methods, and algorithms and use them in our analyses.

We build custom software tools specific to a laboratory's research needs and train lab staff in its use, thereby allowing biologists to explore their own data more easily. We develop and maintain open-source software packages to help NICHD and the broader bioinformatics community.

We can provide consultation in topics such as experimental design, feasibility, statistical power, resource optimization, and training.

We help train researchers acquire the computational skills required to be productive in the post-genomic age of biology by facilitating access to training on basic command-line use, software engineering principles, Python, R, applied statistical concepts, and more.

Structure and philosophy

The central BSPC (Bldg 6A 1A16/17) consists of a handful of post-bacs and bioinformatics scientists collectively acting as a clear, central point of contact for bioinformatics expertise for the institute. In addition, BSPC has bioinformaticians embedded in labs across campus (currently in Buildings 6, 49, and 35) who are immersed in day-to-day lab activities. Embedded bioinformaticians are therefore able to provide more directed support to researchers. At the same time, they are fully supported by the rest of BSPC and we all share share code, ideas, and methods with the entire core.

We recognize that understanding the underlying biology is critical for making good bioinformatics analysis decisions. We speak the "languages" of both biology and computer science and so can help facilitate collaborations between different disciplines. BSPC aims to be be a full-fledged scientific collaborator, contributing novel biological insights and extending the impact of NICHD research.

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