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Carnegie Mellon Establishes Ray and Stephanie Lane Center for Computational Biology
Date:9/20/2007

ms using machine-learning methods. One of the center's missions will be advancing the development of computational methods to improve cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment, especially by developing tools to enable automated creation of detailed, predictive models of a system's behavior.

"Bob has created a new field to advance the future of cancer research and studies of other major health disorders," said Richard D. McCullough, vice president of research at Carnegie Mellon. "His research enabled scientists around the world to analyze complex microscope images in an unbiased way for the first time. Before his work, biologists relied on their eyes to determine protein locations within cells. Bob's group demonstrated not only that automating this task was possible, but that an automated process outperforms the human eye in localizing proteins inside cells."

Knowing the exact location of a cancer-associated protein should ultimately advance the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, according to Murphy. In many cases today, pathologists can't accurately analyze biopsy slides to locate specific cancer-related proteins with certainty. This limits their ability to prescribe the most effective treatment.

"We believe that our tools could soon solve this kind of problem," said Murphy, who is also a professor of machine learning. "Our automated, unbiased methods could unequivocally identify alterations in protein locations that cause or reflect cancer. This information could enable a clinician to more accurately diagnose or more effectively treat a given patient."

Murphy's career growth has paralleled the availability of genome databases and the development of new biological data-collection methods and analytical approaches that comprise the broad set of activities called computational biology. He is among the scientific vanguard in devising advanced computational and theoretical approaches to automate generation of knowledge from this burgeoning amount
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SOURCE Carnegie Mellon University
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