The Protein Information Resource (PIR) is an integrated public bioinformatics resource to support genomic, proteomic and systems biology research and scientific studies
(Wu et al., 2003).
PIR was established in 1984 by the National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF) as a resource to assist researchers in the identification and interpretation of protein sequence information. Prior to that, the NBRF compiled the first comprehensive collection of macromolecular sequences in the Atlas of Protein Sequence and Structure, published from 1965-1978 under the editorship of Margaret O. Dayhoff.
and her research group pioneered in the development of computer methods for the comparison of protein sequences, for the detection of distantly related sequences and duplications within sequences, and for the inference of evolutionary histories from alignments of protein sequences.
Dr. Winona Barker
Dr. Robert Ledley
assumed leadership of the project after the untimely death of Dr. Dayhoff in 1983. In 1999
Dr. Cathy H. Wu
joined NBRF, and later on
Georgetown University Medical Center
(GUMC), to head the bioinformatics efforts of PIR, and has served first as Principal Investigator and, since 2001, as Director.
For over four decades, beginning with the Atlas of Protein Sequence and Structure, PIR has provided protein databases and analysis tools freely accessible to the scientific community including the Protein Sequence Database (PSD).
In 2002 PIR, along with its international partners,
EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute) and
SIB (Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics), were awarded a grant from
NIH to create
a single worldwide database of protein sequence and function, by unifying the PIR-PSD, Swiss-Prot, and TrEMBL databases.
In 2009 Dr. Wu accepted the Edward G. Jefferson Chair of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the
University of Delaware (UD).
Today, PIR maintains staff at UD and GUMC and continues to offer world leading resources to assist with proteomic and genomic data integration and the propagation and standardization of protein annotation.