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 on bioinformatics topics such as bulk/single cell RNA-Seq data analysis, pathway enrichment analysis, and gene expression visualization, using software with a point-and-click graphical user interface that does not require programming experience.
- Provide in-person and email 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 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 more than 2,400 bioinformatics databases and software tools, and a filtered PubMed search for additional resources
Ansuman Chattopadhyay, PhD, in Biochemistry, leads the three-member HSLS MolBio team. Sri Chaparala, Master’s in Applied Biotechnology, provides consultations and trainings on next-gen sequencing analysis and other bioinformatics resources. Carrie Iwema, PhD, in Neuroscience and Master’s in Library Science, coordinates basic science services including MBIS outreach, the How-to Talks by Postdocs series, electronic research notebook and preprint support, and collaborations with HSLS Data Services such as the Pitt Data Catalog.
You can read more about HSLS MolBio services in our publications:
- Chattopadhyay A, Iwema CL, Epstein BA, Lee AV, Levine AS. Molecular Biology Information Service: an innovative medical library-based bioinformatics support service for biomedical researchers. Brief Bioinform. 2020; 21(3):876-884. PMID: 30949666.
- Gau KH, Dillon P, Donaldson T, Wahl SE, Iwema CL. Partnering with postdocs: a library model for supporting postdoctoral researchers and educating the academic research community. J Med Libr Assoc. 2020; 108(3):480-486. DOI: 5195/jmla.2020.902.
- Iwema CL, LaDue J, Zack A, Chattopadhyay A. bioPreprint: a discovery tool for cutting edge, preprint biomedical research articles. F1000Res. 2016; 5:1396. Published 2016 Jun 16. PMID: 27508060.
- Chattopadhyay A, Tannery NH, Silverman DA, Bergen P, Epstein BA. Design and implementation of a library-based information service in molecular biology and genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. J Med Libr Assoc. 2006; 94(3):307-E192. PMID: 16888665.