Bioinformatics in the Netherlands: The value of a nationwide community

Celia W.G. Van Gelder*, Rob W.W. Hooft, Merlijn N. Van Rijswijk, Linda Van Den Berg, Ruben G. Kok, Marcel Reinders, Barend Mons, Jaap Heringa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This review provides a historical overview of the inception and development of bioinformatics research in the Netherlands. Rooted in theoretical biology by foundational figures such as Paulien Hogeweg (at Utrecht University since the 1970s), the developments leading to organizational structures supporting a relatively large Dutch bioinformatics community will be reviewed. We will show that the most valuable resource that we have built over these years is the close-knit national expert community that is well engaged in basic and translational life science research programmes. The Dutch bioinformatics community is accustomed to facing the ever-changing landscape of data challenges and working towards solutions together. In addition, this community is the stable factor on the road towards sustainability, especially in times where existing funding models are challenged and change rapidly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-383
Number of pages9
JournalBriefings in bioinformatics
Issue number2
Early online date15 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2019


  • bioinformatics community
  • bioinformatics research
  • bioinformatics training
  • fair data principles
  • interoperability
  • national research infrastructure


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