Bioinformatics and Research Computing (BaRC), Whitehead Institute

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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

    & Research Computing (BaRC) Department


   Cambridge, MA 


   Fran Lewitter, Ph.D., Director of BaRC, (lastname AT 


   BaRC Whitehead Institute 

Group size:

   6, 1 Ph.D. director, 1 Ph.D. Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, 2 Bioinformatics Scientists, 1 M.S. Bioinformatics Analysts, and 1 Senior Graphics specialist. We have a full IT department that manages our systems and network. 


   The Whitehead Institute is a private research institute affiliated with MIT. All PIs at Whitehead hold faculty appointments at MIT. There are 19 labs - 14 Faculty and 5 Whitehead Fellows - with undergrads, graduate students, postdocs and technicians. Labs range in size from 6 to low 40s. 


  We support software on Macs, PCs and Unix. For desktop software we currently support LaserGene, MacVector, Sequencher, Gene Construction Kit. Vector NTI, DNAStrider, lots of graphics software. On the Unix side we have EMBOSS, GCG, University of Washington Genome Center Software, WU-Blast, NCBI-Blast, Matlab, R, BioConductor, Patscan, Primer3, HMMER, clustalX, etc. 

Pertinent hardware info:

  A 4-processor Intel computer, a Linux cluster of 38 Intel dual-processor nodes and an EMC Clarion storage device. Desktops are Macs and PCs. 


  Hands on mini-courses. See BaRC Education Pages. "Hot Topics" series include less than an hour talk about some specific tool or topic. Quarterly "Work in Progress" series for in-depth presentation of computational biology applications. Lots of one-on-one training. 

Bioinformatics support model:

  basic model is training, education, consultation and collaboration in the areas of bioinformatics and graphics. 

Funding model:

  Institutional funds and grants.