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
Jack Szostak is elected a fellow of the AACR Academy
The American Association for Cancer Research inaugurated the first class of the Fellows of the AACR Academy at their annual meeting, held in Washington, D.C., on April 5th. This first class of Fellows of the AACR Academy consists of 106 individuals, symbolizing the age of the organization upon establishment of the Academy.
Dr. Szostak received the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the 2008 Dr. H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics and the 2006 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for his work on telomerase. He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Alexander Rich Distinguished Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Biology at Harvard University. His current research is on the origin of life.
Lynda Stuart, 2013 MGH Research Scholar
We congratulate CCIB Faculty member Lynda Stuart for this outstanding accomplishment. Lynda is one of nine awardees for 2013 selected to receive this five-year award for exceptional research contributions.
Lynda is a physician-scientist who received her medical degrees from the University of Cambridge and the University of London. She is a member of the Royal College of Physicians in the UK. She trained in internal medicine and nephrology in the UK, working in London, Oxford and Edinburgh.
Her research interest is in the role of innate immunity and phagocytosis both in the context of tissue remodeling and of host-pathogen interactions.
Gary Ruvkun Receives the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research
On June 19, 2012, Gary Ruvkun and colleague Victor Ambros were named by Johnson & Johnson as the winners of the 2012 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research for their discovery of microRNAs. The award was given during the Biotechnology Industry Organization Convention in Boston.
Dr. Ruvkun’s honors and awards include the Rosenstiel Award from Brandeis University (with Victor Ambros, Andy Fire, and Craig Mello), the Warren Triennial Prize from Massachusetts General Hospital (with Victor Ambros), the Benjamin Franklin Medal from the Franklin Institute (with Victor Ambros and David Baulcombe), the Gairdner International Award from the Gairdner Foundation of Canada (with Victor Ambros), the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research (with Victor Ambros and David Baulcombe), the Louisa Horwitz Prize from Columbia University (with Victor Ambros), the Shaul and Meira Massry Prize (with Victor Ambros), the Dan David Prize for Aging research (with Cynthia Kenyon), the Ipsen Foundation Longevity Prize, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Keith Joung receives prestigious NIH Pioneer Award
J. Keith Joung, MD, PhD, of MGH Pathology is one of 17 investigators nationwide to receive a 2010 NIH (National Institutes of Health) Director’s Pioneer Award. The awards are designed to support scientists pursuing projects that address major challenges in biomedical or behavioral research, particularly those taking innovative approaches, and provide $2.5 million in grant support over five years. Joung is also a member of the MGH Center for Cancer Research and the Center for Computational and Integrative Biology.
Joung’s project seeks to develop more efficient ways to reprogram adult cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) – which have many of the charcteristics of embryonic stem cells – along with better methods to induce iPSCs to develop into desired cell types and to target specific disease-associated genes for modification. He and his team will use a methodology developed in his laboratory to engineer synthetic proteins called zinc fingers that recognize and bind to specific genes, changing their expression or DNA sequence.
“The Pioneer Award will enable my lab to pursue new applications of engineered zinc-finger technology,” Joung says. “We aim to develop substantially improved methods for generating, genetically modifying and differentiating induced pluripotent stem cells. If we are successful, these broadly useful tools will further accelerate the use of iPSCs for biological research and molecular therapies of genetic disorders.”
Jen Sheen is elected a fellow of the AAAS
Dr. Jen Sheen of the CCIB was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the most recent meeting of the AAAS Council.
Founded in 1848, the AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world. In addition to organizing membership activities, AAAS publishes the journal Science, as well as scientific newsletters, books and reports, and conducts programs designed to raise understanding for science worldwide.
Dr. Sheen was recognized for her seminal studies of signaling pathways in plants. The work of her lab has been to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction pathways that mediate plant responses to central regulators. Her lab has developed a range of molecular, cellular, genetic, genomic, and biochemical tools to dissect signaling cascades from receptors/sensors to transcription factors in Arabidopsis and maize.
Dr. Ramnik Xavier is named the new Chief of the Gastroenterology Division at MGH
Dr. Dennis Ausiello has announced that Dr. Ramnik Xavier has been appointed the new Chief of Gastroenterology effective January 1, 2010. Dr. Xavier succeeds Dr. Daniel Podolsky, who is currently the President of the University of Texas. Ramnik is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and has a research laboratory in the CCIB at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Dr. Xavier will also assume the Kurt Isselbacher Chair in Medicine at MGH.
Ramnik was an MGH Resident and completed his fellowship in gastroenterology at the MGH. Following his fellowship, he completed post-doctoral training with Dr. Brian Seed. Dr. Xavier’s laboratory in the CCIB is working to discover and understand the function of important mediators and effectors involved in innate and adaptive immunity. In addition, he has made important contributions to our understanding of the genetic architecture of inflammatory bowel disease.
Ramnik has distinguished himself as a teacher and clinician of the Bigelow service and the GI service, and we congratulate him on his appointment.