New Columbia University center aims to advance next generation of genomics, proteomics research

Addressing the critical need for new ways to analyze the enormous amounts of data being generated by genomics and proteomics, Columbia University is establishing a National Center for Biomedical Computing with an $18.5 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Columbia's new center the National Center for Multi-Scale Analysis of Genetic and Cellular Networks (MAGNet) is part of a network of seven centers created by the NIH to begin developing the computational and scientific infrastructure as well as software and data management tools needed to leverage the vast core data generated in part by the Human Genome Project.

This grant is part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. Of $235 million in grants for new and continuing Roadmap projects in 2005, Columbia has been awarded a combined total of nearly $50 million. Earlier this summer, Columbia received $25 million from the Protein Structure Initiative, another component of the NIH Roadmap. In June $9 million was awarded to James Rothman, Ph.D., director of the Judith P. Sulzberger, M.D. Columbia Genome Center and the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Physiology, for his work with the Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Network of the NIH Roadmap.

"These NIH Roadmap grants establish Columbia as one of the nation's major centers for computational biology and bioinformatics," said David Hirsh, Ph.D., executive vice president for research at Columbia University. "Biomedical research is moving away from small experiments on individual genes or proteins, to the simultaneous analysis of tens of thousands of genes and proteins and entire systems inside cells."

Computational Biology: New Tools for Rapid, High-Volume Data Assessment

"Computational biology, a new field of science, has the potential to revolutionize biology and the translation of biology into medicine," said MAGNet Director Andrea Califano, Ph.D., professor of biomedical informatics

Contact: Elizabeth Streich
Columbia University Medical Center

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