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Awards and Grants
The Wang Lab Wins DARPA Grant to Boost the Body’s Resilience to Radiation
Harris Wang, PhD, assistant professor of systems biology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, is leading a team of experts in radiation research, CRISPR-Cas technologies, and drug delivery on an innovative new project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The up to $9.5M project focuses on pursuing a therapy to protect the body from the effects of high-dose ionizing radiation, and is part of DARPA's initiative to fund research into new strategies to combat public health and national security threats.
Awards and Grants
Making Strides in Mapping the Human Cell Atlas
In two groundbreaking research projects contributing to the Human Cell Atlas, Columbia University scientists are tasked with mapping complete cells in the immune system and the human spine. The global effort is aiming to identify and define every cell type of the human body and create a collection of maps for navigating the cellular basis of human health and disease. The Columbia teams include co-principal investigators from the Department of Systems Biology Drs. Peter Sims and Raul Rabadan, and are among the 38 collaborative science teams launching the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Seed Networks for the Human Cell Atlas project announced June 21.
Research News
Novel Computational Tool Models RNA-Binding Specificity, Provides Better Understanding of Gene Expression Regulation
A study by researchers in Dr. Chaolin Zhang’s lab details a computational method that models how RNA-binding proteins recognize specific sites in the target RNA transcripts, precisely and accurately. The researchers’ findings include identification of entirely new motifs, and their research in complex RNA regulation contributes to our understanding of the molecular basis of disease and conditions, and down the road, could aid in the development of targeted therapies. The study, published June 20 in Molecular Cell, was led by Dr. Zhang of systems biology, with senior co-authors Drs. Suying Bao and Huijuan Feng.
Interview
Behind the Technique: Systems Biology with Andrea Califano
At the 2019 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Dr. Andrea Califano sat down with BioTechniques News for an overview on the field of systems biology and its impact in cancer research and in precision medicine. Dr. Califano is a pioneering researcher in the field of systems biology whose expertise is in developing innovative, systematic approaches to identify the molecular factors that lead to cancer progression and to the emergence of drug resistance at the single-cell level. Dr. Califano is the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Columbia.
Research News
These Creatures Are Helping Us Understand Our Genome
A new study, led by Laura Landweber, PhD, of a single-celled eukaryote with 16,000 tiny chromosomes may shed light on a recently discovered feature of the human genome. Methyladenine, or 6mA—a modification of DNA common in Oxytricha trifallax—has only recently been found in multicellular organisms, with some studies suggesting a role in human disease and development. Finding the enzymes that lay down the methyl marks will be critical to understanding what 6mA is doing in Oxytricha and other organisms. The new research will be published June 13 in Cell.