Infectious diseases are a leading cause of productivity loss and are responsible for roughly a third of annual deaths worldwide; sepsis and mortality caused by infectious diseases are also on the rise in the U.S. Antimicrobial resistance is increasing rapidly and newly emerging diseases are causing considerable concern: a new global pandemic could have a significant economic impact.

With the advent of microbial whole-genome sequencing, there has been some renewed optimism that genomic knowledge will speed the development of new antimicrobials, vaccines and diagnostics. Some success stories have been reported to date, however these have been extensive/costly endeavors involving significant laboratory requirements. This is largely due to the fact that the existing computational screens for identifying potential drug targets and vaccine components are not accurate enough.

We propose that through an interdisciplinary, technology driven methodology, the effectiveness of genomic approaches for anti-infective drug discovery could be greatly enhanced. Thus, this BCID Project is focused on the development of more accurate and faster bioinformatics algorithms and tools for identifying anti-infective drug targets, candidate drugs and potential vaccines. Our interdisciplinary team is capitalizing on Simon Fraser University´┐Żs unique strengths in computational, physical, chemical and biological sciences to discover potential new therapeutic targets and test them first in silico and then in the laboratory. Our program provides an environment for trainees from the basic and applied sciences to learn career skills relevant to performing interdisciplinary, team-based, internationally competitive research. With the ability to analyze many infectious disease-causing microbes in parallel, the computational methods we will develop could potentially have a wide impact on efforts to control multiple infectious diseases.

BCID Email

Initial Contact:
Karima Samnani
Administration, BCID
Simon Fraser University,
Burnaby, BC, Canada



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© 2007 Bioinformatics for Combating Infectious Disease Project. Funded by the SFU Community Trust Endowment Fund