"Attracting someone of Dr. Kauffman's calibre to Alberta speaks volumes about the quality and capability of our information and communications technology sector and of the good work being done by iCORE," said Victor Doerksen, Minister of Innovation and Science. "High quality professionals are the backbone of Alberta's innovation agenda and the key to our economic prosperity and improved quality of life."
Originally a medical doctor, Dr. Kauffman's primary work has been as a theoretical biologist studying the origin of life and molecular organization. He has added a new dimension to Darwin's theory of evolution and has founding patents in chemistry for drug discovery. Kauffman is now using powerful computing resources to test some of his theories on the systems that regulate cell growth, division and differentiation. Understanding these systems may lead to the ability to control them, which could mean new cancer treatments using cell-based approaches rather than traditional treatments such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
"We plan to set up a world-class research program that will marry theory and experiment in the exploding area of systems biology," says Dr. Kauffman, the new iCORE Chair in Biocomplexity and Informatics, housed at the University of Calgary. "The opportunity here is unparalleled. We need to think big, and we have found the necessary support here. There is a wonderful collaborative environment, and the potential to mix theory and experiment is very good."