The Center for Computational and Integrative Biology is an affiliation of faculty drawn together by a common interest in the study of biology through methods engaging a broader scale of inquiry than the existing standard of the era. The faculty collectively has highly diverse interests, ranging from inquiries into the origins of life, the mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions in plants and model organisms, the relationship between atherosclerosis and inflammatory responses in vertebrates, and the collection and analysis of comprehensive measures of physiology in an attempt to understand the harbingers of adverse outcomes (principally sepsis and its sequelae) in individuals treated for trauma.
The Center for Computational and Integrative Biology provides support for investigators at the hospital and across Boston through a variety of autonomous cores that provide services in DNA sequencing, oligonucleotide synthesis and research laboratory automation.
CCIB in the News
Faculty Awards & Honors
NIH awards funding for second phase of the Human Microbiome Project
The NIH has announced that Dr. Ramnik Xavier, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at MGH and a founding member of CCIB, and Dr. Curtis Huttenhower, Associate Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, have been selected to lead an initiative that will investigate connections between the microbes living in the human gut (the “microbiome”) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This research program marks the second phase of the Human Microbiome Project, a project launched by the NIH in 2008 to characterize the microbial communities that live in and on the human body, and to analyze the role of these microbes in human health and disease. In the current project, Drs. Xavier and Huttenhower will lead a cross-disciplinary team that includes researchers at MGH, the Harvard School of Public Health, Broad Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, UCLA, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Emory University, University of Colorado, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Washington University in St. Louis.
The team will collect and analyze samples from adults and children with IBD (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), conditions that affect 1.5 million Americans and have an overall incidence that has increased >400% in the past 50 years. Although clearly linked to both genetics and environment, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis have emerged in recent years as some of the most important conditions linked to the gut microbiota. The funded project will build resources for the larger research community to investigate correlations between the gut microbiome and IBD.
The initiative is funded through a branch of the NIH that supports programs that have exceptionally high impact and address seemingly intractable problems using innovative approaches. As the leaders of this nationwide collaborative project, Drs. Xavier and Huttenhower will oversee the coordination of state-of-the-art technology with enormous amounts of raw data. In addition to making important contributions to understanding IBD, the program promises to deliver computational tools and analytic approaches that will guide microbiome research for years to come.
Jen Sheen is awarded the 2013 Martin Gibbs Medal by the American Society of Plant Biologists
The Gibbs Medal is presented biennially to an individual who has pioneered advances that have served to establish new directions of investigation in the plant sciences. Dr. Sheen is recognized for her “seminal and innovative contributions to the understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying the plant signal transduction cascades that mediate nutrient, hormone, and environmental stress responses and pathogen defenses in plants.”. As the recipient of the 2013 Gibbs Medal, Sheen will convene the Martin Gibbs Medal Symposium at the 2014 ASPB annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. Additional information about this award and the ASPB is available here
Dr. Sheen is a Professor in Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Molecular Biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.