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Large Bioinformatics Projects Benefit from 2003 NSF ITR Awards

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The National Science Foundation last week announced that two out of eight large projects it is funding this year under its Information Technology Research program would support life science informatics research.

In one life science project, “Constructing a ‘Family Tree’ for Life on Earth,” Bernard Moret of the University of New Mexico will lead a team of researchers from eleven universities in a project that was awarded $11.6 million over the next five years to create a phylogenetic tree of all living organisms using new analytical and supercomputing techniques.

The second project, “Data Mining for Biomolecular Imagery,” was awarded $9.4 million over five years. Bangalore Manjunath of the University of California, Santa Barbara, will lead a team to develop next-generation systems for studying the function, distribution, and relationships of proteins and complex molecules in living cells and capture the images in a distributed database.

This year, NSF awarded more than $169 million in new awards through the ITR program. In addition to $80.5 million for the eight large projects, more than 175 mid-sized projects were awarded up to $4 million, and 180 smaller projects will each receive up to $500,000, the agency said.

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