Helix is a research group of INRIA Rhône-Alpes.
INRIA (« Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique ») is the French national research institute in computer science and control.
The 40 members of the Helix research group are computer scientists and/or biologists doing research in bioinformatics. They are working at Montbonnot (near Grenoble) and Villeurbanne (near Lyon). Grenoble and Lyon are the first two main cities of the Rhône-Alpes region (France), they are distant 100 km one from the other.
The group of Lyon is the research team "Bioinformatics and evolutionary genomics" of the Lab. of Biometry and Biological Evolution (LBBE, UMR 5558 « Unité Mixte de Recherche »).
LBBE is a research lab which belongs to the CNRS (Dpt. of Life Sciences), « Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique », the French national research council, and to the university Claude Bernard, the science university of Lyon.
The Helix group is associated with the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) in Geneva (Switzerland), more precisely with the Swiss-Prot group, directed by Amos Bairoch. This association SIB-Helix is named Sibelius.
Since January 2005, Helix is also associated with the Departamento de Ciência da Computação within Instituto de Matemática e Estatística, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brazil. The coordinator of the Brazilian side is Prof. Yoshiko Wakabayashi. The two teams gather people with interest in mainly three areas of computer science: computational biology, combinatorial optimization and graph theory. These areas are related to each other, as many problems in the first two are modelled and formalized as problems in graph theory. Also, many problems in computational biology are in fact optimization problems. Four main topics are being adressed: sequence analysis and models for molecular evolution, large-scale comparative genomics and genome dynamics, phylogeny, and biochemical networks. This association is named ArcoIris.