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NIGMS Creates New Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

NEW YORK, May 14 - The National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health said Monday it has established a new Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. 

The center will support research and training in areas that join biology with the computer
sciences, engineering, mathematics, and physics.

The center will also assume oversight of the NIH's Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative through its management of the BISTI Consortium. BISTIC is composed of senior-level representatives from NIH institutes and centers and representatives of other federal agencies concerned with bioinformatics and computer-based applications.

"The future of the biomedical sciences will be driven by advances in bioinformatics and computational biology," NIGMS director Marvin Cassman said in a statement.  

While the NIGMS announced its interest in supporting such a program in 1998, Cassman explained that "it is now time to establish a stronger focus for the institute's efforts in this area."

The amount of funding to be allocated to the new center was not disclosed.

The aim of the new center, according to the NIGMS, will be to encourage biomedical scientists and mathematically based researchers to collaborate on a number of bioinformatics-related projects. These include generating mathematical models of biological networks, developing modeling and simulation tools, conducting basic theoretical studies related to the organization of biological networks, and developing bioinformatics tools for analyzing and storing data.

The NIGMS said the CBCB would also fund training and fellowship grants and sponsor
workshops, courses, and meetings.

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