ELIXIR Switzerland

The SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is an internationally recognized non-profit organization, dedicated to biological and biomedical data science. 

Its data scientists are passionate about creating knowledge and solving complex questions in many fields, from biodiversity and evolution to medicine. They provide essential databases and software platforms as well as bioinformatics expertise and services to academic, clinical, and industry groups. SIB federates the Swiss bioinformatics community of some 900 scientists, encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing.

The institute contributes to keeping Switzerland at the forefront of innovation by fostering progress in biological research and enhancing health. 

SIB in figures (as of Jan. 2023):

  • 87 research and service groups
  • 900 members, including 190 employees
  • 28 institutional partners across Switzerland
  • 160 databases and software tools developed by SIB members accessible via the Expasy web portal
  • 100 course-days per year, making up over 60 courses provided to 1,400 participants
  • Over 500 peer-reviewed articles published


SIB is the largest national node within the ELIXIR consortium. As a provider of various renowned bioinformatics resources, expertise and teaching activities to the international life science community, SIB interacts with ELIXIR at several levels:

Open bioinformatics resources

  • Four of SIB's bioinformatics resources are part of ELIXIR's Core Data Resources: UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot, STRING, Rhea and Cellosaurus (read more here and here).
  • Three SIB knowledge bases (Rhea, UniProt and STRING) recognized as critical for life science worldwide as part of the Global Core Biodata Resources.
  • New resources added to the SIB portfolio of leading Open Science databases and software tools: ASAP, Cellosaurus, and Nextstrain.

Participation in ELIXIR

  • SIB co-leads the ELIXIR Data Platform, and the communities: 3D-BioInfo community, Food and Nutrition and Human Copy Number Variation. It is also involved in several other focus groups and workstreams, such as the benchmarking of software tools.
  • Co-leading the training work package of the implementation study of the new ELIXIR Single-Cell Community.
  • It is co-leading two work packages as part of the ELIXIR-CONVERGE project, whose aim is to help standardize life science data management across Europe: one around training and capacity building and one around SARS-CoV-2 genomic data sharing.
  • SIB contributed to the development of the ELIXIR RDMkit, which is an online guide containing good data management practices applicable to research projects throughout the data lifecycle, as well as the FAIR Cookbook to bring these practices into reality.
  • Involved in the ELIXIR-EXCELERATE project, to establish a pan-European data infrastructure for biological information.


  • SIB acts as Data Coordination Centre in numerous international public-private partnerships as part of the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI, previously IMI), harmonizing data and implementing FAIR principles across projects tackling cancer, diabetes and obesity.
  • SIB has successfully established the BioMedIT network and the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) as FAIR, sustainable national infrastructure enabling responsible sharing of health data for research purposes.


SIB events

SIB runs an extensive range of scientific events, including its main computational biology conference [BC]2 occurring every two years in Basel. More on the training events in the Events section.


Head of Node

Christophe Dessimoz
Christophe Dessimoz
(SIB Executive Director)

Technical Coordinator

Romuald Beaugrand
Romuald Beaugrand
(SIB Head of IT)

Training Coordinator

Patricia Palagi
Patricia Palagi
(SIB Head of Training)

Node Coordinator

Lucy Poveda
Lucy Poveda


Lausanne - Management Office

Participating institutes

Lead institute