SRA to build genomic database

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases officials have awarded a five-year, $13.6 million contract to develop a system that will collect and analyze data for biodefense studies.

SRA Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of SRA International Inc. based in Fairfax, Va., will develop the bioinformatics resource center for the collection, storage and analysis of genomic research data about enterobacteria, a group of pathogens that can cause dysentery, plague, food poisoning and typhoid fever.

"We will develop a flexible and integrated system, accessible via a Web portal, to provide a means for biodefense and infectious disease researchers to annotate and update multiorganism data, compare genomes, analyze related biological data and share data across the research community," Dr. Timothy Cooke, SRA's health systems vice president and director, said in a press release.

SRA, which will receive assistance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's genetics researchers on bioinformatics tools and user interfaces, will provide database design and development, data and text mining, and information security.

NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health, conducts basic and applied research that ultimately leads to treatments for infectious, immunologic and allergic diseases. In recent years, the institute has expanded its focus on bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases.

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