2007 News

Dana Pe'er has been presented with the 2007 NIH Director's New Innovator Award (http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/sep2007/od-18a.htm). Part of an NIH Roadmap for Medical Research initiative, this award recognizes outstanding scientists who are "well-positioned to make significant — and potentially transformative — discoveries in a variety of areas.”

This award, proposed by NIH Director, Elias A. Zerhoni, MD was created to help new scientists fund highly innovative approaches to major research challenges that could lead to significant medical advances.

Dr. Pe'er is assistant professor of biological sciences at Columbia University, a member of the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and an investigator at the MAGNet Center. She utilizes computational and biotechnology approaches to understand how a cell’s regulatory network processes signals and how the signal processing goes wrong in cancer.

September 19, 2007

2nd Annual DREAM Conference

The 2nd Annual DREAM (Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessments and Methods) conference has been announced and will be held December 3 and 4, 2007 at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York, NY.

The conference will feature several speakers including: Tim Gardner, Ravi Iyengar, Fritz Roth, Chris Sander, Ron Shamir, Ilya Shmulevich, Mike Snyder, Peter Sorger, Ioannis Xenarios; as well as a presentation of accepted papers.

Also to be discussed will be the DREAM Challenge, which consists of 5 separate challenges composed of one or more datasets which participants used to generate predictions as to the best possible network from which the data originated. All predictions and results will be disclosed at the conference.

Update, February 28, 2008: For a report on this conference, see the New York Academy of Sciences eBriefing, Educated Guesses: The Second Dialogue on Reverse Engineering Assessment and Methods (DREAM).

The 2007 annual C2B2/MAGNet Center retreat took place on April 6, 2007 at Wave Hill in New York City. Several of the Center's faculty members had the opportunity to present and inform the C2B2/MAGNet community about the ongoing research in their laboratories. 

February 8, 2007

geWorkbench Wins Award

geWorkbench, the bioinformatics platform of the MAGNet Center, was recognized with an excellence award during the 2007 annual meeting of the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) initiative. The geWorkbench project team was sited for "excellence in the design, planning and implementation of one of the first unrestricted open-source software projects from integrative genomics analysis."

January 25, 2007

DREAM Conference eBriefing

Meeting notes and presentations from the September 2006 DIMACS Workshop on the Dialogue on Reverse Engineering Assessment Methods (DREAM) are now available as an eBriefing on the New York Academy of Sciences web site.

Barry Honig, PhD, professor of biochemistry & molecular biophysics and Director of C2B2, was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in an October 6 ceremony in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Academy is an independent research center conducting multidisciplinary studies of problems in science, technology, and global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education.

C2B2 has been awarded a contract to serve as the Data Analysis and Coordination Center for the International Serious Adverse Event Consortium (iSAEC). iSAEC is a nonprofit organization comprising leading pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions with scientific and strategic input from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Using the power of whole genome association (WGA) studies, iSAEC aims to (i) identify and validate DNA-variants useful in predicting the risk of drug-related serious adverse events, and (ii) make such discoveries freely available to the research community for further investigations. C2B2 will provide  computational infrastructure for the storage and analysis of the WGA data as well as information systems for the dissemination of the analysis results to the public.

January 24, 2007

Dana Pe'er Joins C2B2

Dana Pe'er, Assistant Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, has joined C2B2. Prof. Pe'er's research focuses on understanding the organization, function, and evolution of molecular networks. Molecular networks sense multiple signals from the environment, robustly process appropriate cellular responses and orchestrate the regulation of hundreds of genes and proteins to execute these responses. This remarkable functionality occurs through diverse mechanisms including regulation of transcription, epigenetic changes, translation, degradation, post-translational signaling, and localization. Prof. Pe'er's lab develops computational methods to integrate diverse high throughput data and unravel a holistic systems level view of the cell in an attempt to answer such questions as: How does this calculation differ between cell-type, individual and species? How do small changes to the regulatory network propagate and manifest in phenotypic diversity and changes? What is the connection between regulation and fitness? How does dysfunctional regulation lead to disease such as cancer? 

Prof. Pe'er is a graduate of the Hebrew University. Before joining Columbia in 2006 she held a Research fellow appointment at George Church's lab, Dept. of Genetics, Harvard Medical School

January 24, 2007

Prof. Itsik Pe'er joins C2B2

Itsik Pe'er, Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University, has joined C2B2. Prof. Pe'er develops and applies novel computational methods in human genetics, answering questions such as: How is it best to measure, describe and quantify differences between individual DNA sequences? How does sequence variation affect biological processes? How can we use it to understand and influence human disease? All these questions pose complex analytical challenges, with direct impact on medical research. Some of Prof. Pe'er's specific interests include the study of genetics in special populations that underwent bottleneck and admixture events, the development of an information processing framework for most people having their genome on a disk, and the interplay between somatic and germline variation. 

Prof. Pe’er is a graduate of Tel Aviv University, where he received his B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees. He did postdoctoral research at the Department of Molecular genetics at the Weizmann Institute of Science and then jointly at the Broad Institute, Whitehead Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital.

January 24, 2007

C2B2 software wins award

geWorkbench, an advanced Java-based platform for integrated genomics developed by C2B2 investigators with funding from the NIH roadmap and the National Cancer Institute, was recognized with an excellence award during the 2007 annual meeting of the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) initiative. The geWorkbench project team was cited for "excellence in the design, planning and implementation of one of the first unrestricted open-source software projects from integrative genomics analysis".