Oct 25, 2010

Wenk and others receive $12.7M NIH grant




As part of a larger $12.7 million grant to UTSA, the National Institutesof Health (NIH) has awarded nearly $2 million in funding to support a core computational biology facility for five years. Carola Wenk, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, is its principal investigator; co-principal investigators are Yufeng Wang and Fidel Santamaria, both faculty in the Department of Biology. The Computational Systems Biology Core (CSBC) will provide computational support for health research at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) allowing scientists to incorporate advanced computational systems biology tools into their research programs. The CSBC will be a central resource housing high performance computer systems as well as software, programming, scripting and computational research expertise. Some of the initial applications of this computational infrastructure will be modeling and simulation of biological systems, live cell imaging, and protein biomarker research. The CBSC will complement and enhance the successful Computational Biology Initiative which provides high performance computing support to over 500 registered users performing bioscience research at UTSA.

The CSBC is one component of UTSA's Center for Interdisciplinary Health Research. The center, including the CSBC, is funded through a $12,657,140 grant to UTSA from the National Center for Research Resources at the NIH as part of its Research Centers for Minority Institution program. This is one of the largest NIH grants UTSA has received in its 41-year history. In addition to the Computational Systems Biology Core, the five-year grant will provide funding for three other core facilities, three pilot research projects, and administration. The core research facilities (the Computation Systems Biology Core, the Nanotechnology and Human Health Core, the Protein Biomarkers Core, and the Biophotonics Core) will provide central research infrastructure that will be utilized by UTSA faculty performing health-related research.