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Project aims to fuse top-down, bottom-up approaches in systems biology
Date:5/4/2011

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Virginia Tech researchers a $2.13 million grant to develop new systems biology approaches to study cells, one of the most basic units of life. Systems biology aims to study complex cellular systems by systematically stimulating them, monitoring cellular responses, formulating mathematical and computational models to understand the data, and proposing new experiments to refine these models.

T.M. Murali, associate professor of computer science at Virginia Tech https://bioinformatics.cs.vt.edu/~murali/; John Tyson, university distinguished professor of biology, http://www.biol.vt.edu/faculty/tyson/; and Jean Peccoud of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute http://www.vbi.vt.edu/faculty/personal/Jean_Peccoud, proposed to the National Institutes of Health a novel approach to link the two dominant paradigms in systems biology.

NIH is awarding the interdisciplinary team for their proposal titled "Integrating Top-Down and Bottom-Up Models in Systems Biology with Application to Cell Cycle Control in Budding Yeast."

Murali, principal investigator, described the project: "Two distinct approaches are being used to study complex cellular systems. The first, top-down approach automatically analyzes large-scale datasets for correlations between genes and proteins. However, it is often difficult to design experiments from these results.

"The second, bottom-up approach painstakingly crafts detailed models that can be simulated computationally. Although such simulations can suggest wet lab experiments, developing the models is a manual process that can take many years. These approaches have largely been developed separately until now. Our project will meld the strengths of these two approaches into a single framework
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Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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