Computing and computational tools have become increasingly important in enabling progress in biomedical research. In recognition of the critical role computing and computer science plays in biomedical research, the NIH Director commissioned a Working Group on Biomedical Computing in June 1999. The result of the deliberations of the Working Group on Biomedical Computing was a report entitled "The Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative (BISTI)" which can be accessed at the following site: http://www.nih.gov/welcome/director/060399.htm. A major recommendation of the BISTI is that the NIH should provide additional resources and incentives for basic research to provide adequate support for those who are inventing, refining, and applying the tools of biomedical computing. The promotion of the interface of biomedical information science and technology with biomedical research should result in new digital and electronic tools that will have substantial impact on broad areas of biomedical research.