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Established in 1970, the Resource for Biocomputing, Visualization, and Informatics (RBVI) develops cutting-edge interactive software tools and advanced web-based computational resources that provide integrated visualizations and analyses of molecular structures and related non-structural biological information. Our tools can be applied to diverse types of biomolecular data, including atomic-resolution coordinates, 3D density maps and light microscopy data, and protein and nucleic acid sequences, annotations, and networks. We focus on unmet software needs for basic and applied biomedical research using highly trained and talented staff, with excellent interdisciplinary knowledge and specialized, state-of-the-art expertise in software engineering, computer graphics visualization, and data analysis. Our primary efforts are in the interactive visualization and analysis of structures of molecules and molecular assemblies, protein sequence-structure-function relationships, and network representations of protein similarity, binding interactions, and biological pathways. These areas are critical for addressing important and highly relevant biomedical problems such as identifying the molecular bases of disease, annotating proteins of unknown function, identifying targets for drug development, designing drugs, and engineering proteins with new functions. The RBVI is an NIH/NIGMS Biomedical Technology Research Resource (BTRR).

We distribute software tools, including the popular UCSF Chimera and, more recently, ChimeraX visualization and analysis packages, host the Structure-Function Linkage Database, and provide access to state-of-the-art computational resources in support of research projects in these areas. Our Center's history dates back to the earliest application of molecular graphics.

The RBVI is organized around five key activities:

  1. Core research and development
  2. Collaborative research projects
  3. Development and access to visualization resources
  4. Outreach and training (workshops, meetings, demonstrations...)
  5. Dissemination and technology transfer

RBVI staff have formal training ranging from pharmaceutical chemistry to computer science and software engineering, and our Advisory Committee provides advice on research direction and priorities. For additional information, please contact Thomas Ferrin, RBVI Director, at tef [at] cgl.ucsf.edu.

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