Colombia and Ecuador are ‘mega’ biodiverse countries, showing high species richness for various taxonomic groups.
The exploration of local diversity is a strategy for the social and economic development of the population of both countries.
A knowledge base of genetic information is essential for managing strategies of conservation of resources, to study how global changes affect the diversity and to retrace the evolution of species. It is also useful to address question regarding food security, crop breeding and bioprospection that could support sustainable development of Andean countries.
Currently, the study of biodiversity at the molecular level is generating large volumes of data such as genetic and genomic data, promoting a recent inter-disciplinary branch of sciences at the interface of informatics and biology: the bioinformatics.
If several universities in Colombia offer high quality Master degrees in bioinformatics and computational biology, not any academic formations are actually available in Ecuador, and only 5% of the Andean species richness (mainly micro-organisms) have records at the molecular level in public databases.
The goal of PSF-Sud BIO_ANDES is to build local capacities in Bioinformatics in Colombia and Ecuador, through support for setting up a master's degree in bioinformatics in Quito.
The project has three components :
- Academic and pedagogical advice in the content construction of the PUCE master’s class: the implementation of a model of e learning for bioinformatics.
- Trainings in bioinformatics topics : the development of bioinformatics courses (summer course, workshops).
- Mentoring of thesis projects.
- Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE): Dr. Rommel Montufar
- Universidad de Los Andes (UNIANDES): Dr. Silvia Restrepo
- IRD (UMR DIADE): Dr. Romain Guyot
- Other project partners : Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Université de Montpellier, Universidad de Manizales – Colombia, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná - Brasil.