Santa Barbara, Calif.--The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $9.4 million grant to a research project led by University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) electrical and computer engineering professor Bangalore Manjunath. The five-year grant, one of eight the NSF conferred through its Information Technology Research (ITR) program, provides $6.9 million to UCSB and $2.5 million to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where the principal investigator is Robert Murphy, professor of biological sciences and biomedical engineering. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are also participants.
Stuart Feinstein, serving as director of UCSB's Neuroscience Research Institute, describes the problem the research aims to solve: "Biological research efforts are generating enormous quantities of data and analyzing it manually."
By "manually" Feinstein means "by person" and "by eye." Research labs throughout the world are generating vast quantities of photographic images of cells and tissues. Those representations are currently analyzed via the researchers' eyes looking at the images.
According to the winning proposal, "Next Generation Bio-Molecular Imaging and Information Discovery," the project's mission is "to develop new information processing technologies appropriate for extracting detailed understanding of biological processes from images depicting the distribution of biological molecules within cells or tissues."
Said Feinstein, "Not only do we now analyze those images one at a time by eye, but there's also no way to sort through them or do a search. There is a tremendous amount of valuable information--applicable both to basic science and to clinical situations--and we are not harvesting nearly what we could if we had computer-assisted methods to do it."
"Bioinformatics," said Manjunath, "is mostly data driven, and most of the data creating exciPage: 1 2 3 Related biology news :1
Contact: Jacquelyn Savani
University of California, Santa Barbara - Engineering
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