The explosion of the biological sciences has resulted in its fragmentation into numerous narrow specialties. Yet the field remains unified by a common set of integrative questions about how complex biological systems function and evolve in the face of uncertainty and noise. While many have correctly emphasized the unifying role of genomics in addressing these questions at all biological scales, the Center for Quantitative Biology focuses instead on the unifying role of mathematical and computational approaches in advancing and connecting biological disciplines.
The Center will capitalize on the University's unique strengths. World-class research in biomedical sciences, genomics, neuroscience and environmental biology is complemented by quantitative biology, including the Mathematical Biology program, Biomedical Engineering, scientific computing and imaging, biophysics, and biomedical informatics. Sadly, many life scientists, both on campus and in Research Park, remain unaware of the opportunities for transformative collaborative research with quantitative biologists, while quantitative biologists have only begun to mine the empirical riches around them. The central purpose of the Center for Quantitative Biology will be to serve as a clearinghouse to bring these groups together, create new collaborations, and extend these links throughout the nation and the world.