ANN ARBOR---The University of Michigan Medical School will receive $4 million during the next four years from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support the U-M's new program in bioinformatics. This interdisciplinary program will offer graduate education and support research in the emerging scientific field of bioinformatics, one of the areas highlighted in the U-M's Life Sciences Initiative.
Bioinformatics merges recent advances in molecular biology and genetics with advanced computer science technology. The goal is increased understanding of the complex web of interactions linking the individual components of a living cell to the integrated behavior of the entire organism.
"The Human Genome Project and advances in molecular biology have generated a flood of new data about individual components of cells," said Allen S. Lichter, M.D., dean of the U-M Medical School. "Yet we know very little about how all these parts work together to create a living organism. HHMI funding will help us obtain the computer technology and expertise we need to develop the next generation of bioinformatics tools and educate tomorrow's scholars in this important new discipline."
According to Michael A. Savageau, Ph.D., U-M professor of microbiology and immunology and director of the bioinformatics program, the HHMI grant will be used to recruit four new junior faculty members and hire technical support staff for a new Bioinformatics Core Facility under construction in the U-M Medical School. "The HHMI award also will help fund pilot research projects in which bioinformatics faculty and graduate students will work closely with other U-M investigators to develop a deeper understanding of living systems and new applications for this technology," he said.
"This major grant from HHMI complements a substantial investment made by the U-M Health System to
develop the U-M's educational and research capabilities," sa
Contact: Sally Pobojewski
University of Michigan