The San Francisco-based Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded $5.6 million to the California Institute of Technology to create the Center for Integrative Study of Cell Regulation in Pasadena.
Researchers at the center will work to develop new computational methods for understanding how the genes and proteins that make up individual cells work together to carry out the specialized functions of different cell types, including neurons, plant cells, and bacteria. During the initial five-year funding period, the center will support the research of five to ten laboratories in Caltech's division of biology as well as the Center for Advanced Computing Research.
According to Mary Kennedy, the center's founding director and Davis Professor of Biology at Caltech, the center will merge the university's expertise in computation and in cell biology for the pursuit of new knowledge in biological sciences. "We've reached a turning point," said Kennedy, "where the sequencing of genomes has led to identification of all the genes and proteins of several organisms, and we are now ready to put the pieces together."