The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech has named Guy Cormier as chief information officer.

Cormier will serve as a member of the senior management team with direct responsibility for operations, resources and strategic development of the Core Computational Facility (CCF) as well as Information Technology support for VBI. The CCF provides high-performance computing resources to assist researchers in the study of large-scale biological systems that involve genes, proteins, and their interactions, as well as metabolic networks (systems biology).

Cormier joins VBI from the University of Puerto Rico System where he was Director of the High Performance Computing facility (HPCf). The HPCf, which Cormier founded in 1997, provides computing infrastructure and technical resources to the research community of the eleven campuses in the University of Puerto Rico educational system. Since 1998, Cormier has been leading the development of the Internet2 project for Puerto Rico. Internet2 is a far-reaching initiative to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies for the next-generation of the Internet. The project involves over 200 universities in partnership with industry and government collaborators. A significant part of Cormier’s work at the HPCf in Puerto Rico has entailed the development of a Bioinformatics Resource Center, a project funded by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Puerto Rico System as part of Puerto Rico’s Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program. He has also served as the Associate Director of the Puerto Rico INBRE program.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Guy Cormier to the Institute,” said VBI executive and scientific director Bruno Sobral. “The Core Computational Facility is the data management and analysis machine of VBI and it is an indispensable component of the way we do science. Our computational infrastructure and services support all of our research undertakings in the biomedical, environmental and plant sciences.” He added: “Guy is an experienced manager and has a proven track record in deploying high-performance computing solutions for wide-ranging applications. He is ideally suited to provide the leadership skills we are seeking for the further development of our computational resources in the years ahead.”

Cormier holds a doctorate in Chemistry from Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada, and a B.Sc. (honors) degree in Chemistry from the Université du Québec à Montréal. From 1995-1997, he was a visiting scholar at the Chemistry Department, University of Cambridge, England, where he focused on using Molecular Dynamics modeling to investigate the glass transition phenomenon in silicon- and silica-based materials. From 1994-1995, Cormier carried out postdoctoral research at the Physics Department, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy. In 1994, Cormier received the Prix d’Excellence de l’Académie des Grands Montréalais, an annual award for the best doctoral thesis in the category of Science and Engineering for an individual graduating from a Montréal university.

Cormier has published in the physical sciences, served as a principal and co-principal investigator on major National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health-funded initiatives for infrastructure development in the biomedical and computational sciences, and has presented at many international conferences in computational sciences.

About the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute

The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech has a research platform centered on understanding the “disease triangle” of host–pathogen–environment interactions in plants, humans and other animals. By successfully channeling innovation into transdisciplinary approaches that combine information technology and biology, researchers at VBI are addressing some of today’s key challenges in the biomedical, environmental and plant sciences.

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