The $1 million grant, one of only 10 awarded from a competition of 132 applicants nationwide, will support the new Ph.D. program in Computational Biology that was established jointly by the two universities last year (see www.cmu.edu/PR/releases05/050902_doctorate.html). The primary focus will be on curriculum development, emphasizing the development of a new laboratory course for computational biologists and the creation of expanded course offerings in bioimage informatics and computational structural biology.
"HHMI is partnering with the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) to ensure sustaining support as well as start-up funds for the new programs," according to an HHMI press release issued on November 22. "Following a second competition to ensure that the HHMI-funded recipients achieved their original goals, the NIBIB--committed to integrating the physical and life sciences--will support the second phase of this program, which is aimed at sustaining interdisciplinary graduate education."
"The HHMI-NIBIB partnership capitalizes on the special strengths of each organization," said HHMI President Thomas R. Cech. "HHMI can provide flexible support to catalyze development of new interdisciplinary programs, and the NIBIB will sustain these and related programs once they are developed, as NIH does so well with traditional training grants."
During the first three years, Carnegie Mellon will be the lead institution under the HHMI grant, and then Pitt will be the lead institution during the latter five years under NIBIB funding.