A smaller size of the minibrain mutant Drosophila brain (B), compared to wild-type brain (A), reveals the importance of Minibrain signaling for brain development (L. Yang, Veraksa lab).
The participating faculty of the Integrative Biosciences (IB) Graduate Program have been actively engaged in interdisciplinary and interdepartmental research projects in the College of Science and Mathematics and across the campus, in the areas of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Bioinformatics. Several examples below of existing interdisciplinary research serve to illustrate current and prior accomplishments and the potential for growth.
A 20-year collaboration between Biology and Computer Science faculty in the area of Ecological Informatics involved six NSF-funded grants. Several faculty collaborate in the Center for Environmental Sensing Networks.
Faculty in Mathematics and Physics are collaborating on projects focusing on the roles of non-coding RNA in cancer. These projects involve a combination of bioinformatics, stochastic simulations and analytical approaches from physics and mathematics.
Faculty in Chemistry and Physics are investigating the process of non-equilibrium self-assembly in chemical systems.
A collaboration between Chemistry, Physics and Biology faculty focuses on cancer biology and photomedicine. The goal is to apply photochemistry-mediated cytotoxicity for selective destruction of cancer cells, and tumor-associated stromal cells.
Interactions among faculty in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Biology involve studies of potential interaction partners for proteins that participate in hormone signal transduction pathways; investigation of topological and geometrical properties of protein conformational spaces; and analysis of differential gene expression.
Partnerships with Major Research Institutions
In addition to these intra-campus collaborations, IB faculty have a number of off-campus collaborations. Faculty from Mathematics and Physics departments are collaborating with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on the role of gene regulatory networks in tumorigenesis. A long-standing collaboration between UMass Boston and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been supported by a U54 grant from NIH.
IB students are encouraged to participate in the following seminars offered in the CSM departments:
- Biology Department
- Chemistry Department
- Computer Science Department
- Engineering Department
- Mathematics Department
- Physics Department
- School for the Environment
ERK and Minibrain signaling R01 grant
Associate Professor Alexey Veraksa was awarded a 5-year R01 grant from NIH totaling $1.6M for his lab's work to investigate ERK and Minibrain signaling.
UMass Boston-Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center U54 Comprehensive Partnership for Cancer Disparities Research
Professors Adan Colon-Carmona, Jill Macoska, Kellee Siegfried, and Alexey Veraksa have renewed the $8.6 M partnership grant.