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Carnegie Mellon Adds Computational Biology Center to Computer Science

Carnegie Mellon University has become the first institution in the country to add a computational biology department to its School of Computer Science (SCS). The center, named after benefactors Ray and Stephanie Lane, has actually existed for two years, but recently moved into a new complex that includes the Hillman Center for Future Generation Technologies and the Gates Center for Computer Science. The department is expected to do research on the potential of machine learning for expanding understanding of complex biological systems.

"Many of the Lane Center's investigators already are SCS faculty members, so that makes the school a natural home for computational biology," said Robert Murphy, the center director. "But this field will always be highly interdisciplinary."

According to a statement from the university, Lane Center researchers have "developed techniques for determining the genes that contribute to complex diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and cancer; invented tools for showing how genetic networks evolve as organisms develop; detected mechanisms that allow genes to fill in for similar genes that have been disabled; developed methods for checking the consistency of biochemical models; identified more than 100 genes that are inactivated in malignant cells and are potential targets for drug therapy; created complex simulations of molecular events within cells; and developed methods for accelerating the automated analysis of cell behaviors."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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