Origins and brief history
The Central American Bioinformatics Network (BIOCANET) is composed of a group of researchers and professionals from several Central American countries, that are affiliated to regional Universities, Institutes, Foundations, and Research Centers. Currently, this organization is based on five interconnected nodes (one per country: Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama), with a central node in Costa Rica (University of Costa Rica).
Their first meeting as members took place in Costa Rica in 2012, within the framework of the First National and Central American Bioinformatics Congress supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Costa Rica.
The network had the support of members of the University of Costa Rica, Valle University, Autonomous University of Honduras, Ministry of Science and Technology of Costa and Foreign Trade of Costa Rica in 2011. The composition of the network is based mainly on professors and students of Universities of Central America.
The main objective of BIOCANET is to develop a Central American cooperation network of bioinformaticians, computer scientists, clinicians and other related professionals interested in the development of bioinformatics education programs and research projects focused on Biodiversity, Biotechnology, Molecular Medicine, Genomics, Proteomics and other “Omics” sciences in our region. The network is also open to biocomputing services as training, workshops, Bioinformatics cooperation services, technical support,
This network has three main pillars: Biodiversity, Environmental and Molecular Biosciences. These three large areas have Bioinformatics and Computational Biology as an integrator layer providing the technical support they need.
Educational Programs related to the Network
As related work of the network its members have worked in three educational programs:
• Master in Bioinformatics & System Biology (UCR)
• Postgraduate in Bioinformatics & Biocomputing (USAC)
• PhD in Biosciences and Biotechnology (UTP)
The members of BIOCANET come from different Institutions: INVEGEM (Guatemala), Del Valle University, Don Bosco University, San Carlos University, Rafael Landivar University, Autonomous University of Honduras, University of Costa Rica and Technological University of Panama and INDICASAT (Panama). BiOCANET is open to all. To be a member you only have to register on the website and wait for a response from the selection committee.