Campus News

Researchers awarded collaborative grant

One scientist at UGA and another at Georgia Tech have been awarded the first University System of Georgia Inter-institutional Collaborative Research Grant.

Ying Xu, director of UGA’s Institute of Bioinformatics, an authority on microbial genomic structures and pathway prediction, and Eberhard Voit, director of Georgia Tech’s Integrative BioSystems Institute, an expert on computational modeling of biological networks, will use the $100,000 grant to develop novel techniques for integrating computational models that help to predict and understand the organization and functions of biological pathways and networks in microbes.

The USG grants benefit existing cross-university research projects involving investigators from at least two USG universities. Funds may be used to hire staff and postdoctoral fellows or to cover other costs critical to the collaboration.

For a systems model, researchers will use Lactococcus lactis, an ancient and well-studied bacteria extensively used in the dairy industry, to explore whether or not it’s possible to computationally predict and model genetic pathways, networks and their regulations based on information derived from genome sequences, gene expression data and metabolite data.

They say the outcome could provide an effective computational method for elucidating biological pathways and networks in a systematic manner.