973 Project kick-offs, Prof. Zhang Xuegong as Chief Scientist

The kickoff meeting of the 973 Program “Bioinformatics theory and methods based on next-generation sequencing” was held in Beijing Xuefu Hotel on November 15-17, 2011. More than 30 people attended, including the expert panel members of the project, Prof. Li Yanda, CAS Member, Prof. Chen Runsheng, CAS Member, Prof. Li Yixue, Prof. Lu Zuhong, and Prof. Zhang Xuegong, the subject principal investigators and key members of research teams. The project's chief scientist, Prof. Zhang Xuegong with Department of Automation, Tsinghua University and TNLIST chaired the meeting. Each subject also held the subject meeting from November 15th to November 17th. Two meetings of subject PIs and liaisons were held in the evening of November 15th and 16th and an expert panel meeting was held on the 16th.

The purpose of the kickoff meeting is to unite the thinking, strengthen the consensus, define the goals, and deepen the friendships. The meeting further clarified the objectives of this project: facing the forefront of life sciences, combining the national needs, targeting the key issues of information science, to establish the new generation theoretical and methodological systems of bioinformatics, to systematically investigate the next-generation sequencing data applications, and to explore the information mysteries of life, to lay the foundation for the development of the new generation of bioinformatics, to train a group of outstanding young scientists, and to make an important contribution for the development of life science and information science. The project tasks are divided into three levels: the basic tasks, the highlights and features, and the original exploration. The kickoff meeting clarified the specific requirements, and made arrangements about the annual seminar during the operation of the project.

The 973 Project “Bioinformatics theory and methods based on next-generation sequencing” is set up in 2011, led by Tsinghua University. The participating units include Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences, CAS, Institute of Computing Technology, CAS, Fudan University, Southeast University, Shanghai Center of Biological information, Second Military Medical University, and Beijing Institute of Genomics, CAS. The execution cycle of the project is from 2012 to 2016.