Center for Quantitative Biology: A focus on omics, from organisms to single cells PROJECT SUMMARY High-throughput genomic, proteomic, metabolomic, and immune-profiling technologies now provide a wealth of data that can be mined to interrogate basic biological processes, changes in cellular or organismal populations, and the molecular bases of disease, at levels ranging from the whole organism to single cells. The rapid advancement of high-throughput technologies for measuring biological systems has generated a significant demand at Dartmouth College for platforms that support ?-omics? in single cells, but also multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to computational biology. The goal of this COBRE program is to establish a Center for Quantitative Biology (CQB), which will support and enhance NIH-funded quantitative biological research at Dartmouth and facilitate its integration with wet-bench, experimental biology. The CQB will draw upon Faculty in the Arts & Sciences, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. The success of CQB will benefit the entire Dartmouth community by facilitating data integration at all levels. The Center will recruit and provide a cohesive community for diverse scientists that could have homes in departments spanning Geisel, Arts & Sciences and the Thayer School, including Biomedical Data Science, Molecular & Systems Biology, Epidemiology, Microbiology and Immunology, Biological Sciences, Computer Science and Mathematics. Through its emphasis on next-generation data, as well as analysis of wet-bench-based ?big data? omics, CQB is will synergize computational biology and biostatistics with ongoing experimental genomic initiatives across Dartmouth. This goal is being accomplished through the following three specific aims:
Aim 1 : Maintain the CQB, which will be focused on developing, supporting, and enhancing computational biology and single-cell dynamics, be nationally and internationally recognized, and foster highly productive collaborations among experimental biologists and quantitative researchers. The COBRE-CQB will provide a key environment for additional faculty recruitment, mentoring, education, and research in quantitative biology.
Aim 2 : Expand the breadth and impact of research from NIH-funded quantitative biologists at Dartmouth by: (1) continuing to recruit talented quantitative biology faculty; (2) further mentoring junior quantitative biologists; and (3) provide systems for translating single-cell dynamics to applications in human disease. Each project in the program will focus on a different aspect of computational biology and genomic research, with the shared goal of identifying factors that influence common human diseases, such as cancer.
Aim 3 : Promote synergistic collaborations between quantitative biologists and experimental biologists through five related research projects, a Single-Cell Genomics Core, and a Data Analytics Core. The five projects will be supported by an Administrative Core (that will provide oversight and management for the grant). Dartmouth has also made a substantial institutional commitment to the success and long-term sustainability of the CQB, including the commitment to hiring five new tenure-track faculty across campus. Dartmouth will also provide institutional program enrichment funds to support research infrastructure, scientific exchange, and a pilot project program to foster a vibrant intellectual community, recruit new project leaders, and enhance the impact and funding competitiveness of all CQB members. With experienced leadership, efficient administrative structures, and a compelling vision for a new paradigm that interweaves computational and experimental early-stage translational research, CQB will develop a critical mass of extramurally-funded investigators and thus thrive as a freestanding, nationally-recognized Center of Biomedical Research Excellence at Dartmouth.
We propose to establish a new Center for Quantitative Biology (CQB) that will first nucleate and then grow the fusion of wet-bench ?-omics research? with bioinformatics at Dartmouth. We will develop and establish new projects that seek to understand changes in organisms and tissue biopsies, down to the detail of single-cell dynamics, using high-throughput methods and integration of diverse ?-omic? data. These approaches can be applied to diverse systems, diseases, cell types, and organisms to improve our understanding of disease and human health. The proposed COBRE Center for Quantitative Biology will provide unique resources to investigators at Dartmouth and our IDeA partners, enhancing research productivity and funding competitiveness across the region.