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The Bioinformatics group, formed in 1999, has had an interdisciplinary vision guiding the diverse and complementary academic formation of students from the Science and Engineering faculties and IBUN. We are committed to developing bioinformatics as a research, teaching and further education area by managing and analysing data and producing information enabling the development and advance of know-how in areas such as genetics, molecular biology, genetic engineering and biotechnology.

As an interdisciplinary team, our research is being developed in three large areas:
Bioinformatics and health. We contribute towards obtaining, storing and analysing data produced by molecular studies for classifying and exploiting biological information related to health area. We carry out research aimed at detecting, comparing, prospecting and analysing sequences encoding resistance to antibiotics which are present in bacteria causing intrahospital infections in Colombia. We use data-mining in searching for differentially expressed metabolic relationships between genes, and we have designed and constructed systems for identifying possible protein targets which would be useful in developing vaccines and diseases such as malaria.
Biodiversity and bioinformatics. We have carried out work on amphibians , on insects , and the microbiology of the soil, for contributing towards know-how regarding Colombian biodiversity by developing and implementing bioinformatics systems leading to storing, recovering and analysing molecular data from which analysis models may be developed integrating morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular data.
Developing bioinformatics tools. We work in the Sequence Retrieve System Federation together with five other groups from Europe and Latin-America. We have developed a system for identifying protein binding sites by machine learning methods (a system with which we want to develop a computational model for localizing functional sites from a protein’s three-dimensional structure). This initiative has been advanced together with the Universidad Nacional’s Engineering Faculty’s Intelligent System Laboratory in Bogotá.
We are responsible for the Colombian node of the European Molecular Biology Network via or we maintain and offer access to several public databases (such as UNIPROT and EMBL) and sequence analysis tools (such as EMBOSS, SEWER, DOTLET and T-Coffee). We provide access to tools developed by ourselves such as SINCO (consulting system for pharmaceutical use stains) and a database containing molecular and taxonomic information regarding Colombian biodiversity (ENKI). We are currently developing a system for molecular information and ß-lactamase georeferencing (BLA.ID).
We give bioinformatics training courses for postgraduate programmes and periodically organise international further education courses with the collaboration of institutes such as the Swiss Bioinformatics Institute, EMBnet and the Latin-American Bioinformatics Network (RIBO).

  • We have consolidated bioinformatics as a strategic research area due to the pertinence, up-datedness and quality of our research lines (biodiversity and bioinformatics and bioinformatics in the health area); this has led to us being classified in group A and as a Colombian reference group by Colciencias.
  • We form the Colombian node in EMBnet and the RIBO network financed by CYTED.
  • We contribute towards training human resources highly-qualified in bioinformatics through international courses and postgraduate subjects.
  • We have established strategic alliances with several research groups from national and international institutions for providing consultation and services for Colombian researchers and developing and using bioinformatics tools.

SUÁREZ A., BARBOSA H., PINZÓN A., BARRETO E. Sistema de información para consulta y selección de colorantes de uso en medicamentos y cosméticos: SINCO. Rev. Col. Cienc. Quím. Farm., 36, 23:43. 2007.
MATUTE D. R., BARRETO - HERNÁNDEZ E., FALQUET L. Hunting for insect-specific protein domains. In Silico Biol. 6, 4. 6.
GARNICA, D., PINZÓN, A., QUESADA, L. M., BERNAL, A., BARRETO, E., RESTREPO, S. Exploiting genomic databases for the generation of tools for understanding of Phytophthora spp. Populations. BMC Genomics, 7:24. 2006.
PINZÓN A., REGUERO M. T., BARRETO E. ENKIDB Sistema de información taxonómica y molecular de especies propias de la biodiversidad colombiana. Rev. Col. de Biotec VIII (1):65-75. 2006.
MANTILLA JR., REGUERO M. T., GONZÁLEZ E. B., GARCÍA I. A., ESPINAL P. A., NARDA O. Caracterización molecular de un brote por Klebsiella pneumoniae productora de CTXM- 12 en la unidad de cuidado intensivo neonatal de un hospital colombiano. Biomédica. 26 (1):1-5. 2006.
MANTILLA JR., GARCIA I. A., VALENZUELA E. M., ESPINAL P. A. Estandarización y evaluación de tres sistemas de rep-PCR para la tipificación de Klebsiella pneumoniae. Revista Colombiana de Ciencias Químico-Farmacéuticas. 33 (1): 48-58. 2004.
BARRETO E. Bioinformática: Historia y perspectivas futuras. Colombia Ciencia y Tecnología. 20 (3): 36-44. 2002.

Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Carrera 45 No 26-85 - Edificio Uriel Gutiérrez
Bogotá D.C. - Colombia