The impacts of genetics and proteomics on biology are similar to that of the Industrial Revolution, which replaced human power with machines. The breakthrough was the introduction of the "discovery driven" research model to supplement the traditional "hypothesis driven" model. The cultivation of bioinformatics research capability is the key process to this transformation. Similar to genetic engineering technology, the use of bioinformatics tools is essential to every biomedical laboratory, and this makes bioinformatics into the major new interdisciplinary subject.
In order to cultivate professionals and talent in bioinformatics research, we have designed a bioinformatics program called the "Genome-based Biomedical Research for the 21st Century" as part of the Program for Promoting Academic Excellence of Universities. Followed by the establishment of a graduate bioinformatics program, we train experts in both biology and information science, providing both graduate and Ph.D. programs. In addition, we encourage further international research projects on bioinformatics.
At the 2003 GIW Conference in Japan, we represented Taiwan and signed an agreement establishing AASBi (Association of Asian Society of Bioinformatics) with Japan, Korea, Australia and Singapore to further regional cooperation.
In 2004, we were responsible for gene splicing part of the PSB (Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing) and proposed the establishment of international data exchange standard. This proposal was supported by the International Society of Computational Biology, ISCB. In the future, ISCB will supply their computer system so that Taiwan will be responsible for a gene splicing SIG (Special Interest Group) to promote international cooperation. Thus, bioinformatics research in Taiwan continues to network across international borders.
In addition, the PALS (Putative ALternative Splicing) databank we provide will become the source for the MAASE (Manually Annotated Alternatively Spliced Events) databank at San Diego, USA, which is an indication of the quality of our research and our level of international recognition.