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UA-led research team awarded $50 million to solve plant biology's grand challenge questions
Date:1/30/2008

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a University of Arizonaled team $50 million dollars to create a global center and computer cyberinfrastructure within which to answer plant biology's grand challenge questions, which no single research entity in the world currently has the capacity to address. The project will unite plant scientists, computer scientists and information scientists from around the world for the first time ever to provide answers to questions of global importance and advance all of these fields.

The five-year project, dubbed the iPlant Collaborative, potentially is renewable for a second five years for a total of $100 million.

This global center is going to change the way we do science, says UA plant sciences professor and BIO5 member Richard Jorgenson, who is the lead investigator and director of the iPlant Collaborative. Were bringing many different types of scientists together who rarely had opportunities to talk to one another before. In so doing, well create the kind of multidisciplinary environment that is necessary to crack the toughest problems in modern biology.

Other institutions working with the UA include Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in New York, Arizona State University (ASU), the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) and Purdue University. The projects board of directors will be chaired by Robert Last, from Michigan State University.

About 79 percent of the grant will stay at the UA, with CSHL receiving approximately 16 percent, ASU four percent and UNCW and Purdue a combined one percent.

UA participants in the iPlant Collaborative include BIO5, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Plant Sciences, the College of Sciences Departments of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the Eller College of Managements Department of Management Information Systems, the College of Engineerings Department of Electr
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Contact: Johnny Cruz
cruzj@email.arizona.edu
520-621-1879
University of Arizona
Source:Eurekalert

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