"The field of network biology is at a very interesting stage," Pico said. "We are sitting on loads of measurement data, with new technologies continuously expanding, and we are just beginning to put these 'parts lists' into comprehensive biological systems."
With support from the NIH, the new center will provide qualified researchers with access to more and better tools for conducting advanced studies of biological systems that result in sophisticated models of how human systems function or fail. All of this will ultimately lead to new and improved treatments and therapies, such as identifying disease biomarkers and molecular targets for potential drugs, defining genetic risk factors and deciphering how individual or group lifestyles (social networks) affect the development and transmission of disease.
"We are unique in having a balanced mix of software developers and bench biologists who know how to communicate with each other and with the greater community," said Pico. "We have been building and using the core toolset of NRNB for many years and we've made a regular practice of training others establishing collaborations that drive development along the most fruitful and effective routes."
Like its subject, the NRNB is the product of extensive interaction, with multiple collaborators. They include James Fowler, a UCSD professor in the School of Medicine and Division of Social Sciences who specializes in social networks; Bruce Conklin of The Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease; Chris Sander of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York; Gary Bader of the University of Toronto and Benno Schwikowski of Institut Pasteur in France. Olga Brazhnik of the NCRR is program officer.
The NRNB joins three other NCRR biomedical technology centers based at UC San Diego: the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research (Mark H. Ellisman, Director); the National Biomedical Computation Resource (Pe
|Contact: Scott Lafee|
University of California -- San Diego