[Source: TGen] – The Translational Genomics Research Institute has announced the award of a $1 million grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation to fund a project designed to shed light on the regulation of cellular processes at a genomic level. The project is a joint endeavor between researchers at TGen and Texas A&M University. The project is based on an emerging field called systems biology that combines engineering, mathematics and biology to further our understanding of the underlying signal processing that takes place within cells.
TGen’s infrastructure is already in place to carry out these types of detailed systems biology experiments. Dr. Michael Bittner, Co-Director and Senior Investigator of TGen’s Computational Biology Division, will lead the project. “This project allows us to further our knowledge of cellular ‘control systems’ and to build new technologies that measure and analyze the processes going on both inside the cell and between cells,” said Dr. Bittner. “In this way, we will develop biological versions of the methods engineers use to study man-made systems, such as telecommunications and computing systems.”
Dr. Bittner will collaborate with Dr. Edward Dougherty, Co-Director and Adjunct Senior Investigator of TGen’s Computational Biology Division and Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University. The W.M. Keck Foundation, one of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations, supports pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research. “This gift from the W. M. Keck Foundation represents far more to TGen than the funding of an important research opportunity,” said Michael Bassoff, President of the TGen Foundation. “It is recognition by the W. M. Keck Foundation of the leading edge science that is conducted by TGen and its collaborators, and the critical impact we will make on the future of medical treatments for patients with life threatening diseases.”