IGERT: Computational Molecular Biology Training Group

  • Dobbs, Drena (PI)
  • O'connell, Mary M. (CoPI)
  • Honavar, Vasant Gajanan (CoPI)
  • Voytas, D. (CoPI)
  • Ranjan, Desh D. (CoPI)
  • Carpenter, Susan (CoPI)
  • Song, Mingzhou (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Computational biology is an interdisciplinary field designed to answer complex biological questions by accessing, manipulating and interpreting the rapidly accumulating body of genomic sequence and expression data. The challenge is to understand how genomic information is integrated to create complex biological pathways, processes and systems. Meeting this challenge requires a diverse and broadly trained group of professionals working at the interface of the biological and computational sciences (mathematics, statistics, computer science). The intellectual merit and goal of this continuing IGERT project is to lead the field of computational biology to the next era of discovery while educating a diverse group of professionals to spearhead this effort. This goal will be achieved through an integrated, inter-institutional training program partnering Iowa State University (ISU) - with its established PhD computational biology program - and New Mexico State University (NMSU) - a strong research institution with a rich tradition in minority student training. This partnership will foster collaborative research in areas of common interest to ISU and NMSU faculty: genome informatics, macromolecular dynamics and interactions, and metabolic and regulatory networks. ISU will share expertise in interdisciplinary graduate training as NMSU implements a graduate level computational biology program. Strategies to promote seamless integration of training efforts at the two institutions include joint coursework, student exchange, joint faculty mentorship, faculty exchange, and inter-institutional workshops and retreats. Should NMSU students choose to continue beyond the MS, these interactions and familiarity with ISU's faculty and research will facilitate their transition into ISU's PhD program or provide the foundation to pursue graduate studies elsewhere. A major broader impact of the program is broadening participation in this interdiscplinary field. IGERT is an NSF-wide program intended to meet the challenges of educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers with the interdisciplinary background, deep knowledge in a chosen discipline, and the technical, professional, and personal skills needed for the career demands of the future. The program is intended to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education by establishing innovative new models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Effective start/end date7/1/056/30/12


  • National Science Foundation: $2,963,688.00


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