Congratulations to University High School student Kevin Lee from Ivine on winning 2nd Place at the national 2014 Intel Science Talent Search (STS) competition for his project entitled "Electromechanical modeling of the heart in moving domains using the phase-field method." Kevin was mentored by UCI professor John Lowengrub (CCBS/Math/BME/ChEMS). He will receive a $75,000 scholarship.
Kevin's project focuses on the development of a new theory of the heartbeat through a system of partial differential equations. Cardiac arrhythmias are the leading cause of death in the industrialized world but are not well-understood due to difficulties in linking the physical beating motion of the heart with the propagation of electric signals, and vice versa.
This work successfully couples the mechanical and electrical dynamics and develops an algorithm that enables much more efficient simulations of the heartbeat than those in use today. The added insights from the model promise to improve our understanding of fatal heart conditions and ultimately aid in their treatment and prevention.
This month's featured research paper is the cover article published by Meng Chen, Liming Wang, Chang C. Liu and Qing Nie from UCI in the October issue of ACS Synthetic Biology entitled: "Noise Attenuation in the ON and OFF States of Biological Switches." The paper describes a new theory for attenutating noise in biological systems. In the accompany- ing podcast Professor Nie discusses the paper's findings and impact.
CCBS associated faculty member, Ali Mortazavi
from the Department of Developmental and Cell Biology has been named a recipient of the prestigious 2013 National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Awards.
The highly selective award program supports projects by early-career researchers that show potential to transform scientific fields and accelerate the translation of research into new ways to improve human health. His project will explore how DNA codes the precise activities of genes involved with development. His lab will create methods to measure how this gene expression is affected by changes in the organization of DNA in embryonic stem cells as they differentiate into neurons and cardiac muscle cells. Mortazavi believes his research will identify fundamental principles of gene regulation as well as the specific DNA elements critical to stem cell differentiation.
Interdisciplinary team of CCBS investigators garners collaborative NIH systems biology grant to discover gene regulatory networks of early development.
NICHD announced the award of a $3 million grant to CCBS investigators Ken Cho, Eric Mjolsness and Ali Mortazavi, together with collaborators Aaron Zorn at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Taira Masanori at the University of Tokyo, for their proposal to study the systems developmental biology of embryonic development and the ontogeny of structural birth defects.
A major unanswered question in biology is how differentiation of the myriad cell types of the adult body is hard-wired in the genome. Using the frog as a model system, the team aims to elucidate the mechanisms controlling endoderm formation by combining experimental and computational approaches. Production of a thorough endodermal gene regulatory network in frog will provide a useful framework for prediction, applicable to early mouse and human embryogenesis, thereby offering valuable knowledge to the broader scientific community for reprogramming stem cells along endodermal cell lineages.
The Center for Complex Biological Systems (CCBS) at the University of California Irvine aims to promote research, education and outreach in Systems Biology by integrating expertise and perspectives from diverse scientific fields to develop a deeper understanding of biological processes.
The Center for Complex Biological Sciences (CCBS) is one of fifteen NIGMS Centers for Systems Biology. Research activities in all areas of Systems Biology – including synthetic biology, genomics and functional genomics, computational biology, mathematical biology, biophysics, and bioengineering – are encouraged within the center, although certain key areas and goals are emphasized. These include research into spatial dynamics, mathematical and computational modeling, developmental biology and monitoring molecular events in live cells with fluorescence dynamics.
Molecular Systems Biology
PLOS Computational Biology
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