Our research focuses on the development and application of computational methods to improve the understanding of biological systems.
The Figure illustrates how our work is divided into three interlinked areas:
1. Technique Development: which includes software for multiple sequence alignment and analysis, protein structure and prediction and sequence analysis.
2. General Analysis: where we apply our methods to large collections of biological data. For example: protein kinases and protein-protein interactions.
3. Specific Applications: where we apply our methods and other techniques to specific biological systems usually through collaboration with experimentalists. See the publications dropdown menu for recent papers.
We are in the Division of Computational Biology which is part of the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee in the United Kingdom.
We are a Bioinformatics/Computational Biology Research Group that was established at the University of Dundee with the appointment in March 2001 of Geoff Barton to a Chair of Bioinformatics.
We are in the Research Division of Computational Biology based in the Discovery Centre which opened on 1st October 2014 in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee.
The School of Life Sciences has 85 research groups, with 800 scientists and support staff from 60 countries and was rated the top UK University Biological Sciences department for research in the UK Government Research Excellence Framework 2014.
We enjoy excellent dedicated office space, purpose-built for computational research and within easy reach of our colleagues in the wet-labs. We have professionally manaaged high-performance computing facilities that include multi-petabyte hierachical data storage and a large, dedicated computer cluster. We also have excellent support for our desktop computing environment on Windows, Mac and Linux.
The Barton Group was first established at the University of Oxford in October 1989 and we set up our first website in 1993/4. The site had simple hand-coded HTML that was designed for fast downloading on slow internet links since some parts of the University of Oxford only had 64kb lines then and most of the world had much slower connections. The site also had to work nicely with text-only web-browsers such as Lynx.
While the original site is lost, you can see what it looked like on 18th October 1996 on the Wayback Machine Internet Archive.
After moving to the EBI in 1997 the site was updated a few times: First with hand-coded HTML and then by 1997 in the commercial object-based web development tool, Netobjects Fusion.
Subsequent updates until the end of 2013 were all handled in Netobjects Fusion and can be viewed on the archive.
For the 2014 version of the website we abandoned Netobjects Fusion since it still uses images for its automatically generated navigation bars and these look pretty nasty on modern high-resolution screens. Netobjects is also hard to work with when you want to add your own custom HTML, so after toying with using a full CMS such as Drupal or WordPress we settled on the Twitter Bootstrap environment.
We have made minimal changes to the Bootstrap CSS so the site has a very bootstrap look and feel. Still, this is OK and a lot more modern looking than the old site! Each page has the same header and footer and the files are built for publication with a simple Makefile.
This site was built using the Bootstrap framework.