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In ISB, University of British Columbia Collaboration, Grad Students Luck Out

SAN FRANCISCO, April 19 - The Institute for Systems Biology and the University of British Columbia have begun a collaboration designed to broaden each other's research and better train grad students.


The collaboration, finalized last month, will nurture joint projects and plant some ISB researchers on the faculty of UBC, giving UBC grad students the chance to work at ISB, Ruedi Aebersold, an ISB co-founder, told GenomeWeb.


"The goal [of the Institute] is to apply a systems approach paradigm to mammalian systems," explained Aebersold. "So we need access to cell lines and clinical samples. We [also] don't have basic computer science for hardware development. UBC has a much broader research base."


Philip Hieter, director of UBC's biotech laboratory, said his school has a lot to offer the Seattle-based ISB. "Ultimately," he said, "any new technology that yields large data sets will be validated by traditional genetics and biochemistry."


From UBC's perspective, it is the ISB's team-oriented approach to systems biology that also brings value to the collaboration. "The university is so big, and we have such a long history of departmental walls," Hieter said. ISB, by comparison, "is such a small entity with a policy of doing everything in an interdisciplinary way," he said. "It is their philosophy. I think in a way a lot of that can rub off."

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