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Career: Inter-Kingdom Signaling As A Paradigm For Molecular Systems Biology


<p>This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).0846453JayaramanIntellectual Merit: The goal of this CAREER project is to develop an integrated research and educational program in molecular systems biology (MSB). This project focuses on soluble signal-mediated signaling between bacteria and human cells, termed inter-kingdom (IK) signaling, as the research paradigm for MSB. The quantitative characterization of signaling mechanisms and the identification of regulatory networks has led to a fundamental understanding of how signaling pathways are involved in the regulation of biological processes. The next level of challenges in cell signaling is on understanding how different signals and signaling mechanisms function in heterogeneous and complex environments.
<br>Broader Impact: The broader impact of the project plan is four-fold. First, the molecular systems signaling framework to be developed in this project will lead to a fundamental understanding of signals, receptors, and recognition mechanisms, which will further the advancement of emerging areas such as synthetic biology. Second, these studies can form the basis of novel molecular therapeutic strategies against E. coli O157:H7 (EHEC) and other pathogens. Third, the microfluidic tools and reporter cells to be developed in this work can be applied to other paradigms in biology and medicine (e.g., stem cell engineering) where spatio-temporal behavior is important. Fourth, the dynamic profiling method described in this project will synergistically further efforts in computational systems biotechnology through the development of new models and algorithms for describing biomolecular dynamics and interactions. The broader impact of the education plan is two-fold. First, the biotechnology specialty certificate and mentored research will provide the framework for training the next generation of biotechnology professionals, introduce active learning into the biotechnology learning experience, and stimulate interest in biotechnology in a large and diverse undergraduate engineering student body. Second, the dissemination of research results through distance learning schemes to students in rural schools in Texas will provide a much-needed connection between higher education institutions and rural schools and society; thereby, leading to increasing number of minority students pursuing STEM careers.</p>

Jayaraman, Arul
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
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