THE Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Aug. 8 approved the establishment of the Center for Bioinformatics & Genomics Systems Engineering, a joint center of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and Texas A&M AgriLife Research, according to an announcement.
The center in College Station, Texas, will conduct research in bioinformatics, computational biology, genomics and systems engineering as they relate to human and animal health, medicine and agriculture, serving communities across the state of Texas and beyond.
"The Center for Bioinformatics & Genomics Systems Engineering brings together two significant strengths within the engineering and agriculture programs to use bioinformatics and genomics to directly improve the health of animals and humans," said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, Texas Engineering Experiment Station director and vice chancellor and dean of engineering at Texas A&M.
The center will feature 7,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, a greenhouse and offices for faculty and graduate students.
"Our aim is to expand our existing strength in the mathematical formulation of molecular-level medicine and to translate that theoretical capability into diagnostic and therapeutic applications for human and animal health," said Dr. Edward R. Dougherty with the Texas A&M department of electrical and computer engineering, who will direct the center.
The overall mission of the center is to utilize the strengths in contemporary engineering systems theory and life sciences to perform fundamental and translational research that affects human and animal health, agriculture and life sciences, the announcement said.
A major component of the center will be training doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers. Within a two-year period, the center is expected to have 25-30 doctoral students.
Additionally, officials said the center will:
* Establish a rigorous scientific/mathematical basis of biology to improve the understanding of biological systems and apply this knowledge to patient diagnostics and treatment and to animal and plant sciences;
* Formalize long-term relations within the agricultural and animal science communities, as well as further develop interactions with medical institutions and industry within and outside of Texas, and
* Secure significant funding for agricultural and life science research, in particular as it relates to industry within Texas.