Bioinformatics has become a frontline applied science and is of vital importance to study new biology. The growth in full genomic sequencing, structural genomics, proteomics, micro-array etc. will be very slow without application of bioinformatics.
The BIF at IIT Madras has been setup with primary support from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, New Delhi, Government of India, with additional support from the IIT Madras. The BIF is a part of the Biotechnology Information System (BTISnet) network created by the DBT to enable harness biotechnology through the application of Bioinformatics. Biotechnology innovation is required not only in research but also in teaching activities of Biology and allied areas. The DBT contributes to biology teaching though bioinformatics (BTBI) by establishing bioinformatics facilities at teaching institutions.
The facility is housed at the Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences, IIT Madras. This building also houses the Department of Biotechnology, IIT Madras, who constitute the primary users of the facility on campus. The facility shares space with the Departmental Computer Facility, Biotechnology dept, IIT Madras.
The BIF caters to the computational and bioinformatics needs of the BTech/MTech and BS/MS students, research scholars and other research staff including project assistants and post doctoral associates of the Biotechnology Department, IIT Madras numbering around 350 members. Other users include several students from colleges and universities all over India who undergo short term training programs in the Biotechnology department.