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$25M NSF center established to investigate the creation of biological machines
Date:2/22/2010

While the behaviors of individual cells and the functions and properties of tissues and organs have been extensively studied, the complex interactions of cell clusters have not been examined in great detail.

The new $25-million Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS) Center to be operated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Georgia Institute of Technology intends to change that.

The EBICS Center -- established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of its Science and Technology Centers Integrative Partnerships program -- aims to advance research in complex biological systems, create new educational programs based on this research, and demonstrate leadership in its involvement of groups traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering.

"Ultimately, we envision being able to create biological modules -- sensors, processors, actuators -- that can be combined in various ways to produce different capabilities," said Roger Kamm, Germeshausen Professor of Mechanical and Biological Engineering at MIT, and the Center's founding director. "If we are successful, this will open up an entirely new field of research with wide-ranging implications, from regenerative medicine to developmental biology."

Georgia Tech will receive more than $1.6 million per year to support the research and educational efforts in the EBICS Center. Georgia Tech's participation in the Center will be administered through the Georgia Tech/Emory Center (GTEC) for Regenerative Medicine. Robert Nerem, who is an associate director of EBICS and the director of GTEC, will work closely with Kamm and the other associate directors to achieve the Center's educational and research goals, and oversee its diversity objectives.

Georgia Tech faculty will contribute to the development of the knowledge, tools and technologies necessary to create these highly so
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Contact: Abby Vogel
avogel@gatech.edu
404-385-3364
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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