Inside the human body, an amazing amount of communication occurs constantly. But the dialogue is rather extraordinary. The orators are actually multiple cell types that make up the human tissues. And for biologists, the fundamental question remains as to how these processes occur within the complex environment of tissues and organs.
One avenue of research receiving support to answer this question is the use of systems biology, a field that promotes the study of the cell as a system using several different techniques to acquire information about its physiological processes.
The National Science Foundation's Advances in Biological Informatics program area has awarded a three-year, $1.12 million research grant to three Virginia Tech researchers with expertise in systems biology and tissue engineering: T.M. Murali of computer science, Padma Rajagopalan of chemical engineering, and Rich Helm of biochemistry.
All three are members of the Virginia Tech Institute of Critical Technology and Applied Science's Center for Systems Biology of Engineered Tissues. Rajagopalan directs this center. Murali is the co-director of the center as well as the principal investigator on this new award. Helm is director of the Virginia Tech Mass Spectrometry Incubator, a collaborative resource funded in part by the Fralin Life Science Institute and the biochemistry department.
Rajagopalan is a past recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to fund her work on studying cell migration in complex environments, and in the past two years she has received more than $1.75 million in fun
|Contact: Lynn Nystrom|