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December 8, 2005

Pitt-CMU biology partnership funded

Carnegie Mellon University, in partnership with Pitt, has received a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support the development of an interdisciplinary joint doctoral program in computational biology.

The $1 million grant, one of only 10 awarded, will support the Ph.D. program in computational biology that was established jointly by the two universities last year.

The primary focus will be on curriculum development, emphasizing the development of a new laboratory course for computational biologists and the creation of expanded course offerings in bioimage informatics and computational structural biology.

Last year, Pitt’s School of Medicine established the Department of Computational Biology, making it one of the first U.S. schools of medicine to assign the discipline the same status as more traditional clinical and basic science departments. The department evolved from the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, which was founded in 2000.

Last May, Pitt and Carnegie Mellon, led by professors Ivet Bahar, chair of the Department of Computational Biology at Pitt, and Robert Murphy, professor of biological sciences and biomedical engineering at CMU and program director for the grant, created a joint doctoral program in computational biology to meet the growing need for graduate-level training in this field.

The program, which enrolled a small number of students in fall 2005, will accept its first full class in fall 2006. A set of core courses will provide students with a common background in fundamental concepts and methods of computational biology. Advanced courses will allow them to obtain intensive training in computational genomics, computational structural biology, systems modeling, bioimage informatics and computational neuroscience.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 38 Issue 8

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