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Rutgers to start up National Program of Excellence in Biomedical Computing

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers has been selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a National Program of Excellence in Biomedical Computing. The Bethesda, Md.-based NIH is providing a $1.35 million grant to Rutgers over a three-year period to fund "phase one" planning and startup. The university is one of only four institutions out of a field of 26 applicants to receive funding under this program. This grant is awarded as part of the NIH's "Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative."

"This program is a new strategy for NIH," said Ronald M. Levy, principal investigator on the NIH grant and professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers. "It acknowledges that biomedical research has become increasingly dependent on computing to manage and analyze data, and to model biological processes. We saw this in the Human Genome Project with its massive amounts of data and analysis. While the NIH program isn't limited to or directly related to the genome project, it is inspired by the notion that computing now plays a major central role in biology."

The phase one funding will enable Rutgers to assemble what NIH calls a Leadership Group, develop an initial research project in biomedical computing that spans a number of different disciplines, set up a graduate training program and provide the necessary laboratory infrastructure for the students.

"An integral part of the NIH Rutgers program is the training of students," said Joseph J. Seneca, university vice president for academic affairs. "The plan is closely affiliated with a new and exciting Rutgers initiative for research and education at the interface of the biological, mathematical and physical sciences. Know by the acronym BioMaPS, this initiative provides for the establishment of a graduate program, graduate courses, undergraduate courses, summer research internships and seminars at this interdisciplinary interface."

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Contact: Joseph Blumberg
blumberg@ur.rutgers
732-932-7084 x652
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
17-Jul-2001


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