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Amos Bairoch

Amos Bairoch is a Swiss bioinformatician, born 22 November 1957.

Bairoch is currently professor of Bioinformatics at the Department of Structural Biology and Bioinformatics of the University of Geneva and group leader at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.

His main work is in the field of protein sequence analysis and more particularly in the development of databases and software tools for this purpose. His first project, as a Ph.D. student was the development of PC/Gene, an MS-DOS based software package for the analysis of protein and nucleotide sequences. PC/Gene was commercialized, first by a Swiss company (Genofit) then by Intelligenetics in the US which was later bought by Oxford Molecular.

While working on PC/Gene he started to develop an annotated protein sequence database which became Swiss-Prot and was first released in July 1986. From 1988 onward it has been a collaborative project with the Data Library group of the EMBL which later evolved into the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI).

The Swiss-Prot database is the primary protein sequence resource in the world and has been a key research instrument for both bioinformaticians and laboratory-based scientists in a very wide range of applications. A measure of its success is the recent development of UniProt, the world’s most comprehensive catalogue of information on proteins. UniProt is a central information resource of protein sequences and functions created by joining the information contained in Swiss-Prot, TrEMBL, and the American PIR databases.

In 1988 he started to develop PROSITE, a database of protein families and domains. A little while later he created ENZYME, a nomenclature database on enzymes as well as SeqAnalRef, a sequence analysis bibliographic reference database.

In collaboration with Ron Appel he initiated, in August 1993, the first molecular biology WWW server, ExPASy What was intended as a prototype grew rapidly into a major site that provides access to the many databases produced partially or completely in Geneva as well as many tools for the analysis of proteins (proteomics).

In 1998, with colleagues in Geneva and Lausanne, he was one of the founders of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB), whose mission is to establish in Switzerland a center of excellence in the field of bioinformatics with an emphasis on research, education, services and the developments of databases and tools.

In November 1997, together with Ron Appel and Denis Hochstrasser, he founded GeneBio (Geneva Bioinformatics SA), a company involved in biological knowledge. In April 2000, the above persons with Keith Rose and Robin Offord founded GeneProt (Geneva Proteomics), a high throughput proteomics company that ceased operations in 2005.

He is recipient of the 1993 Friedrich Miescher Award from the Swiss Society of Biochemistry, the 1995 Helmut Horten Foundation Incentive Award, the 2004 Pehr Edman award and the 2004 European Latsis Prize.


  • Bairoch Amos (2000). "Serendipity in bioinformatics, the tribulations of a Swiss bioinformatician through exciting times!". Bioinformatics 16: 48-64. PMID 10812477. — a historical account by Bairoch.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Amos_Bairoch". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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