University of Minnesota | Rochester

Brain Sciences Center partners with Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology Program

April 23, 2013

The Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology (BICB) Program recently welcomed the Brain Sciences Center at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System as a program partner.

“We are very pleased to add the Brain Sciences Center to our collaboration,” says Claudia Neuhauser, vice chancellor for academic affairs at UMR and director of graduate studies for the BICB Program. “The center is well-known for its cutting-edge research and educational activities, and we see many opportunities for the BICB Program and the center to complement each other and help advance the work of both.”

Established in 2007, the BICB Program was formed as a partnership among the University of Minnesota Rochester, University of Minnesota, IBM, Mayo Clinic, and Hormel Institute to address the need for academic and research programs that explore the intersection of quantitative sciences, biology, and medicine. In the past eighteen months Cray Inc., the National Marrow Donor Program, and the Center for Cognitive Sciences also joined the partnership. The BICB Program offers master’s degree and Ph.D. programs in biomedical informatics and computational biology.

An interdisciplinary research institute and training center, the Brain Sciences Center focuses on the mechanisms underlying the active, dynamic brain in both health and disease. Its scientific staff members also have appointments at the University of Minnesota. Ongoing studies explore neurological disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, Gulf War illness, gender differences in brain development, and the Healthy Brain Project, the first study of its kind to look at the characteristics of a healthy brain over time.

“Our work depends on the contributions of many diverse disciplines, which makes our partnership with the BICB Program a natural one” says Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Brain Sciences Center, as well as Regents Professor of Neuroscience, American Legion Brain Sciences Chair, McKnight Presidential Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, and director of the Center for Cognitive Sciences at the University of Minnesota.

“Bioinformatics and computational biology has played an important role in brain research and will continue to do so,” says Georgopoulos. “The more I looked into the program, the more I felt intellectually I belonged. It’s going to be a wonderful development for us.”

Representatives from the Brain Sciences Center will attend the first annual Bioinformatics Industry Symposium on May 21 at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. For information about the symposium, visit http://www.r.umn.edu/bicb.