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Programs of Research in Quantitative Biology at UW-Madison

The long and distinguished history of quantitative biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has led to a broad array of initiatives that all do cutting edge research in their own area. It can be daunting to get an overview. Here we aim to help you navigate the many options out there.

 

The size, dynamics and complexity of the UW-Madison campus are huge. That means each overview is likely to be incomplete or out of date by the time it gets written. Please let us know, if we missed something. We know of the following initiatives at UW-Madison that do research in some aspects of quantitative biology (in alphabetical order):

 

Biochemistry: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

This group of researchers from the Department of Biochemistry investigate a broad set of questions related to what molecules do in cells.

Go to http://www.biochem.wisc.edu/research/

 

Bioinformatics: Medical Informatics Program Graduate Certificate in Bioinformatics

In the realm of biological and medical sciences, bioinformatics is becoming a central discipline. Bioinformatics, which is the application of computer science theory and methods to molecular biology, is placing a new demand on the training of graduate students in biology and in computer science. The educational objective of the Graduate Certificate in Bioinformatics is to provide additional formal training for pre-doctoral graduate students in molecular biology to improve their fundamental skills in bioinformatics. The goal is to allow them to have enough basic knowledge to continue their own research and to collaborate with computer scientists specializing in bioinformatic methods.

 Go to http://www.biostat.wisc.edu/Medical-Informatics/certificatesbioinfor.htm

 

Biotechnology Training Program

The Biotechnology Training Program (BTP) is a multi-disciplinary, prestigious program educating scientists and engineers across traditional boundaries in a broad variety of disciplines within the realms of chemistry, chemical and electrical engineering, computational sciences, and biological disciplines. Students from chemistry, chemical or electrical engineering, or computer science will receive cross-disciplinary training in biological aspects of biotechnology. Similarly, students from the biological sciences will receive cross-disciplinary chemistry, engineering, or computational training related to biotechnology. Scientists coming from BTP will be able to understand and investigate problems that span traditional boundaries between physical and biological sciences.

 Go to http://www.btp.wisc.edu/

 

Computation in Biology and Medicine

The Computation and Informatics in Biology and Medicine (CIBM) mission is to provide modern training for a new generation of researchers wishing to solve biomedical problems requiring strengths in both computational and biological sciences in health and disease research. The focus of the CIBM Program encompasses translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, and health / clinical informatics. PhD students who are eligible for this interdisciplinary training include those in Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Statistics,Genetics, Nursing, Biochemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, and other computational areas and biological science disciplines from five colleges across campus.

 Go to http://www.cibm.wisc.edu

 

Computer Science: Computational Biology in CS

The Department of Computer Science at UW-Madison is one of the best in the nation and provides much of the computational brain (and muscle!) that helps solve diverse problems in biology. As a young science, computational biology offers a wealth of research opportunities. At the UW-Madison, computer science faculty are collaborating with faculty members in the biological and medical sciences on a variety of topics. To learn more about current computational biology research in the UW CS Department, please see the faculty web pages below.

Go to http://www.cs.wisc.edu/research/research-groups
Go to http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~dpage/uwcompbio.html

 

Evolution:   JF Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution

Many researchers in the Crow Evolution Institute use their own unique blend of tools to quantify various aspects of evolution, both in the lab and in the computer.

Go to http://www.evolution.wisc.edu/view_facultymembers

 

Genetics: Laboratory of Genetics and Genetics Training Program

Quantitative Biology has a long pioneering history in the Laboratory of Genetics, which also houses the Genetics and Medical Genetics PhD programs. Students in these programs work on a broad mix of quantitative questions, whether in wet-lab experiments or using computational approaches.

Go to http://www.genetics.wisc.edu/ResearchByField.htm

 

Genomic Sciences Training Program

The Genomic Sciences Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison aims to train the New Biologists, enabling them to gain strengths bridging multiple disciplines needed for an integrated approach to solving complex problems in genomics research. GSTP faculty trainers are in 14 different departments spanning physical, chemical, biological, and computational approaches.

Go to http://www.gstp.wisc.edu/

 

Medical Informatics Program

See also Certificate in Bioinformatics:

Go to http://www.biostat.wisc.edu/Medical-Informatics/certificatesbioinfor.htm

 

Statistical Genomics

Statistical genomics applies statistical methods to problems in genomics, genetics and molecular biology. UW-Madison has many research groups in multiple departments that work on diverse aspects of statistical genetics and genomics. If you are looking for a stimulating environment in that area, you can find a wealth of opportunities for research and education here. The link provided here shows only the tip of the iceberg.

Go to http://statgen.wisc.edu

 

Systems Biology at WID and elsewhere

A living system like any complex entity is more than the sum of its parts. It can be as “simple” as a virus or as complex as an ecosystem. In the Systems Biology Theme at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, we aspire to gain an understanding of how such systems function, adapt to and shape their environments over different time scales. We are an interdisciplinary group of engineers, computer scientists, physicists and evolutionary biologists taking a multi-pronged approach to understanding living systems. We develop and combine experimental and computational methods to study diverse problems, ranging from interactions between organisms (e.g., between hosts and pathogens, and within diverse microbial communities) and interaction networks within organisms (e.g., regulatory and metabolic interactions). A common theme to our research is to view these systems through the lens of evolution. We provide excellent interdisciplinary research opportunities in experimental and quantitative biology and are by no means the only ones doing systems biology in Madison. In fact many different departments incorporate systems biology into their research, giving it their unique angle. Many opportunities for collaboration exist.

Go to http://wid.wisc.edu/research/sysbio/

Systems Biology in other departments:

Go to http://www.engr.wisc.edu/cbe.html
Go to http://www.genetics.wisc.edu/CompSysSynthBio.htm
Go to http://bse.wisc.edu/
...

Zoology

Research and teaching within the Department of Zoology focuses on all areas and all hierarchical levels of biology, including cell and molecular biology, neurobiology, genetics, organismal biology, ecology, evolution, and behavior. Quantitative and computational approaches are used to complement experimental work and help arrive at a deeper understanding of many areas of biology.

Go to http://www.zoology.wisc.edu/faculty/zoofaclist.html