The HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service (MBIS) has a mission: Providing bioinformatics resources via software procurement, implementation, and training to assist biomedical scientists with solving their research questions. Also referred to as “HSLS MolBio,” our service has supported Pitt researchers since 2002. How do we do this?
HSLS MolBio follows a four-facet approach with the following goals:
- Identify, procure and implement commercially licensed bioinformatics software.
- Teach hands-on workshops using bioinformatics tools to solve research questions.
- Provide in-person and e-mail consultations on software/databases.
- Maintain a web portal providing overall guidance on the access and use of bioinformatics resources and MBIS-created web tools.
The web tools we developed include:
- bioPreprint, a search engine for preprints, providing cutting-edge, yet-to-be published or peer-reviewed biomedical research articles retrieved from Europe PMC (PubMed Central) with results refined via topic clustering.
- InfoBoosters, a one-click browser widget that integrates digital text with databases to retrieve relevant information on demand.
- Online Bioinformatics Resource Collection (OBRC), containing annotations and links for 2,443 bioinformatics databases and software tools and a filtered PubMed search for additional resources.
The three-member HSLS MolBio team is led by Ansuman Chattopadhyay, PhD in Biochemistry. Sri Chaparala, Masters in Applied Biotechnology, provides consultations and trainings on next-gen sequencing analysis and other bioinformatics resources. Carrie Iwema, PhD in Neuroscience and Masters in Library Science, coordinates basic science services including MBIS outreach, the How-to Talks by Postdocs series, electronic research notebook support, and collaborations with HSLS Data Services, such as the Pitt Data Catalog.
You can read more about HSLS MolBio services in our publications:
- A. Chattopadhyay, C.L. Iwema, B.A. Epstein, A.V. Lee, and A.S. Levine. “Molecular Biology Information Service: An Innovative Medical Library-Based Bioinformatics Support Service for Biomedical Researchers.” Briefings in Bioinformatics 21 (1), 2020: 876–84. PMID: 30949666.
- K.H. Gau, P. Dillon, T. Donaldson, S.E. Wahl, and C.L. Iwema. “Partnering with Postdocs: A Library Model for Supporting Postdoctoral Researchers and Educating the Academic Research Community.” Journal of the Medical Library Association 108 (3), 2020: 480–86. doi: 10.5195/jmla.2020.902.
- C.L. Iwema, J. LaDue, A. Zack, and A. Chattopadhyay. “search.bioPreprint: A Discovery Tool for Cutting Edge, Preprint Biomedical Research Articles.” F1000Research 5, 2016: 1396. PMID: 27508060.
- A. Chattopadhyay, N.H. Tannery, D.A. Silverman, P. Bergen, and B.A. Epstein. “Design and Implementation of a Library-Based Information Service in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh.” Journal of the Medical Library Association 94 (3), 2006: 307–E192. PMID: 16888665.