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|| November 29, 2012 ||

New book by Don Mikulecky and Jim Coffman

VCU Professor Don Mikulecky coauthored a new book on climate change, the global economy and politics. Dr Mikulecky is a Senior Fellow in the VCU Center for the Study of Biological Complexity and his coauthor, Jim Coffman, is an Associate Professor at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Maine. Their book entitled: "Global Insanity: How Homo sapiens Lost Touch with Reality while Transforming the World" deals with the fact that the global economy that sustains the civilized world is destroying the biosphere. The assert that a result, civilization, like the Titanic, it is on a collision course with disaster and changing course via the body politic appears to be well nigh impossible, given that much of the populace lives in denial. They go on to answer the questions:Why is that? And how did we get into such a fix?

See The Book's Webpage Here


Human Microbiome Project|| March 3, 2011 ||

Cross-Disciplinary Research at VCU Examines the Vaginal Microbiome

Humans are home to millions of microbes - and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it is now generally accepted that communities of microbes – commonly called microbiomes – profoundly impact health via effects on the local microenvironment.

Gaining a more complete picture of the community of microorganisms inhabiting each of us can tell us a little about our own health and susceptibility to various diseases.

Enter a unique, cross-disciplinary cluster of researchers, nearly 40-people strong, from across Virginia Commonwealth University’s campuses working on a four-year study of how microorganisms found in the vagina influence health and disease in women.

Read Full Press Release Here


HHMI|| January 28, 2010 ||

Hands-on HHMI-sponsored lab experience allows VCU students to explore the biology of bacterial viruses and contribute to nationwide study

A class of 18 energetic, aspiring biologists at Virginia Commonwealth University kicked off the new semester getting reacquainted with several old friends — Shi-Lan, Turbido, Cornelius, SmurfKing, Theia, Trixie, Zeus, Wile and Charlie.

Those creative names belong to a unique set of organisms — bacterial viruses called bacteriophage, or phage — collected and identified by the freshman class from soil samples found in Richmond, Northern Virginia and Chesapeake during the fall semester.

Read Full Press Release Here


|| January 21, 2010 ||

The VCU Center for the Study of Biologolical Complexity Holds its Seventh Annual Research Review

On Wednesday, December 9th, 2009, Fellows of the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity presented their recent work in fields ranging from Biology to Mathematics to Medicinal Chemistry.

Read Event Program Here


Grand Challenges Explorations Grant|| October 23rd, 2009 ||

VCU Receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for Innovative Global Health Research

Virginia Commonwealth University announced today that it has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

The grant will support an innovative global health research project conducted by Luiz Shozo Ozaki, Ph.D., associate professor in VCU Life Sciences’ Center for the Study of Biological Complexity. The project is called “Bacterial viruses as tool for blocking transmission of the malaria parasite.”

Read Full Press Release Here


NIH|| May 27th, 2009 ||

Center investigators win $11.5 million NIH Roadmap Project to study the vaginal microbiome

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health has awarded Virginia Commonwealth University the first year of a planned, four-year $11.5 million project to study how microorganisms found in the vagina influence health and disease in women.

Read Full Press Release Here



|| May 27th, 2009 ||

The Center Congratulates our Graduates and Departmental Award Winners

From left to right: Dr. Herschell Emery; William T. Bud; Niti Vanee; Rahil Sethi; Dr. Greg Buck

Most Outstanding Graduate Master of Science: Niti Vanee
Most Outstanding Graduate Master of Bioinformatics: Rahil Sethi
Most Outstanding Graduate Bachelor's Program: William T. Budd

We would also like to congratulate our other graduates:

Master of Bioinformatics: Venkat Sundar Gadepalli, Mitchell Yale Holland
Bioinformatics Bachelor of Science: Homa S. Teramu, Jenifer Diahnn Unruh, Krystin V. Weathers


HHMI|| January 15th, 2009 ||

VCU Selected by Howard Hughes Medical Institute to Participate in Science Education Alliance

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance has chosen Virginia Commonwealth University to participate in a nationwide genomics research course for freshman students who will have the unique opportunity to engage in hands-on research as part of a national study.

Read Full Press Release Here


WCVE || October 27th, 2008 ||

CSBC Director Dr. Greg Buck, Ph.D., is interviewed by WCVE about the Tree of Life Project.

Listen to Interview Here


Paul Brooks|| October 20th, 2008 ||

Paul Brooks, CSBC Fellow, wins first place in the INFORMS Interactive Session competition for his display entitled, "MetModel GUI: Software for Building Optimization-Based Models of Cellular Metabolism."

Read Full Press Release Here


NSF|| October 15th, 2008 ||

The National Science Foundation has awarded Virginia Commonwealth University a $2.6 million grant to reconstruct the evolutionary origins of the phylum Euglenozoa, which is among the most ancient groups of nucleated organisms and includes species with extraordinary evolutionary, ecological, medical and economic significance. 

Read Full Press Release Here


Monty Kier || Aug 14, 2008 ||

Monty Kier, Ph.D., CSBC Senior Fellow
Dr. Monty Kier has just been named the 2008 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Research Achievement Award winner in Drug Design and Discovery.


Danail Bonchev || Jun 24, 2008 ||

Danail Bonchev, Ph.D., VCU Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences
Bonchev, senior fellow and director of Networks and Pathways Research in the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, VCU Life Sciences, and professor and director of research on bioinformatics in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, won the best paper award from the International Conference on Biomedical Engineering and Informatics Discovery. Read more...


|| Jun 8, 2008 ||

External CSBC Fellow, Dr. Mark Changizi, has been published in the New York Times. Read article...


NHLBI || Mar, 2008 ||

VCU CSBC hosts NHLBI sponsered T-15 workshop.
View website...


|| Dec 4, 2007 ||

5th Annual Research Review showcases research of CSBC Fellows: On Tuesday, December 4th, 2007, Fellows of the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity presented their recent work in fields ranging from Biology to Mathematics to Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Monty Kier conducted the event and speakers included Dr. Gregory Buck and Dr. Allison Johnson. The following presentations were given:

Aaron Aunins, Prof. B. Brown: " Genetic evaluation of restoration to success in American shad returning to the James River, Virginia , USA "

Sarah Rothchild, Prof. R. Tombes, L. Kier intro:"The role of CaMK-II during zebrafish heart development"

Julie Naumann, Prof. D. Young: "Linking fluorescence, reflectance, and physiological responses for remote detection of environmental stress in a coastal shrub"

Arjun Raghuraman, Prof. U. Desai: "Toward a general approach of designing lycosaminoglycan mimics"

Stephanie Crouch, Prof. R. Dyer, L. Kier intro: "The genetic determination of dispersal distances and population structure for the marbled salamander"

Sterling Thomas, Prof. D. Bonchev: “Modeling the regulatory pathways of Bcl2 mediated apoptosis in lung cancer"

Monica Zapata, Prof. G. Mayer: "Characterization of a novel P. falciparum effector that shares homology with an L. pneumophilia effector of the same type IV secretion system"

Mike Peoples, Prof. T. Karnes: "A direct capture immunoaffinity separation of C-reactive protein using a capillary-based microfluidic device"

Antoine Nicolas, Prof. G. Plunkett: “Placement of the hydrocotyloids within the angiosperm order apiales”


Chemistry & Biodiversity || Nov 16, 2007 ||

Dr. Lemont Kier and Dr. Maria Rivera published "Biodiverse Research at the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity" on November 16, 2007. Read more...


|| Oct. 28, 2007 ||

Five years ago today, the first organizational meeting was held to launch the CSBC. Those in attendance were Dr. Tom Huff, Dr. Gregory Buck, Dr. Jeff Elhai, Dr Lemont Kier, Dr. Herschell Emery and Dr Tarynn Witten. The CSBC has come far and has had many successes. Thanks to the students, faculty and staff. Happy Birthday, CSBC!


Systems Biology Summit|| June 6th, 2007 ||

The Second Annual Summit on Systems Biology, hosted June 5-7th at the Jefferson Hotel, has brought together pre-eminent scientists and policy makers in academia, industry and government in discussions of the future of systems-based approaches in biological and biomedical research.
Jefferson Hotel
Speakers have included distinguished scientists, including Lee Hood, Stuart Kauffman, Cris Adami, George Church, Bernhard Palsson, Claire Fraser-Liggett, Joe Loscalzo, and Joseph Nevins. Read Full Press Release Here


Solexa|| April 12th, 2007 ||

The Center for the Study of Biological Complexity at Virginia Commonwealth University has augmented its high throughput genomics capabilities with the acquisition of two pieces of equipment that reduce the amount of time it takes to sequence a genome from years to weeks, and in some cases, days.Roche 454 FLX

The sequencing capabilities, combined with the ongoing genomics research in VCU's biomedical research laboratories and the recent recruitment of two high-profile genomic scientists from Harvard University and the University of California at Los Angeles, are in step with VCU's strategic priority to achieve continued recognition as a top research institution. Read Full Press Release Here



streptococcus sanguinis|| April 12th, 2007 ||

Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have decoded the genome of a bacteria normally present in the healthy human mouth that can cause a deadly heart infection if it enters the bloodstream.

The finding enables scientists to better understand the organism, Streptococcus sanguinis, and develop new strategies for treatment and infection prevention. Read Full Press Release Here


HHMI|| March 29th, 2007 ||

Ms. Doris Jones has been chosen as a 2007 Howard Hughes Medical Institute EXceptional Research Opportunities (EXROP) program participant. Ms. Jones is a 4th year Bioinformatics major at VCU and would like to do research in the field of genetics.

The ultimate goal of the HHMI EXROP program is to increase diversity within the ranks of American science professors. This is the fifth year of the program, and Ms. Jones is VCU’s first EXROP program student. Ms. Jones was nominated for the EXROP program based on her interest in a research career and her strong academic background. EXROP participants are matched with HHMI investigators and professors at first-rate laboratories for a summer research experience. Ms. Jones’ mentor will be Dr. Graham Hatfull at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Biology. Dr. Hatfull’s laboratory researches the molecular genetics of mycobacteria, and of phage viruses that infect mycobacteria. Read Full Press Release Here


Donald Mikulecky|| March 2007 ||

Professor Donald C. Mikulecky, Senior fellow of the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, is the author of “Complexity science as an aspect of the complexity of science” which appears in the new book Worldviews, Science and Us edited by Carlos Gershensen, Diederik Aerts (Brussels Free University, Belgium), & Bruce Edmonds (Manchester Metropolitan university Business school, UK) published by World Scientific. In this interdisciplinary volume, researchers from different backgrounds join efforts to update thinking upon philosophical questions with developments in the scientific study of complex systems. The contributions focus on a wide range of topics, but share the common goal of increasing our understanding and improving our descriptions of our complex world. This revolutionary debate includes contributions from leading experts, as well as young researchers proposing fresh ideas.

In his chapter, Professor Mikulecky explains how we can treat science as an object of scientific inquiry. Science has tried to rid itself of circularity and in so doing has become a very limited method for examining the complex world it tries to have us understand. Self reference is at the center of so many of the interesting things we want to understand including and especially life itself. The existence of this self referential character is the essence of what we have come to call “complexity”. This series of investigations began over a half century ago yet still remains virtually unrecognized by the vast majority of those who call themselves “scientists”.


Monty Kier || November 2006 ||                        

Dr. Monty Kier published his first reasearch article 50 years ago this year:
L.B. Kier and O. Gisvold, Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Scientific Edition Vol. XLV, No. 8, (1956).
"A Note on Tigogenin from Digitalis Lanata" 


NSF || August 2006 ||                        

CSBC faculty win renewal of the National Science Foundation funded Bioinformatics and Bioengineering Summer Institute: Virginia Commonwealth University’s Bioinformatics and Bioengineering Summer Institute has received federal funding to continue its intensive, two-year research program aimed at undergraduate students from around the United States. Read Full Press Release Here


HHMI || June 2006 ||                        

VCU receives $1.5 Million Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant: Virginia Commonwealth University is one of six U.S. universities to receive first-time grants from the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute, joining veteran research universities like Harvard, Dartmouth, Stanford and Princeton in a quest to enrich the way undergraduate science is taught. Read Press Release Here


Monty Kier|| May 2006 ||                        

Monty Kier has received the Distinguished Alumni award from the College of Pharmacy, Ohio State University on May 5.

Congratulations to Dr. Kier!


Complexity in Chemistry, Biology, and Ecology|| October 2005 ||                        

In October, the Springer US Science Publishers published the volume “Complexity in Chemistry, Biology, and Ecology”, edited by Drs. Danail Bonchev and Dennis H. Rouvray. The book presents in seven chapters some of the latest developments in complexity theory and its predominantly biological applications. The basic organization and editing of the book, and three of its chapters are produced by fellows from the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity at VCU (Drs. D. Bonchev, G. A. Buck, L. B. Kier, D. Mikulecky, and T. M. Witten). This is the second initiative of the Center after Dr. L. B. Kier participated in the publishing in 2004 of the new journal “Chemistry and Biodiversity” jointly with colleagues from Switzerland.

[More information on the text]



Danail Bonchev|| October 2005 ||                        

The 65-th anniversary of Dr. Danail Bonchev, Professor of Mathematics, Senior Fellow and Director of Research, Networks and Pathways at the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, has been honored by the International Electronic Journal of Molecular Design. The publications in the July through November journal issues of IEJMD have been dedicated to Dr. Bonchev by the international community in this research area. The July issue opens with Dr. Bonchev’s 60 pages biographical article summarizing his most important contributions in the field of molecular topology and its applications, selected from his more than 200 research publications, including 15 books authored or edited.

Congratulations to Dr. Bonchev!

[More information]



Modeling Chemical Systems using Cellular Automata|| September 2005 ||                        

CSBC Senior Fellow Lemont B. Kier, External Fellow Paul G. Seybold, and Fellow Chao-Kun Cheng co-author Modeling Chemical Systems using Cellular Automata. The book, a first of its kind: is both a textbook and a laboratory manual about cellular automata modeling of common systems in chemistry. It is not only a text, but includes a CD Rom which allows readily-assimilated, real-time experience with the methodology and practice of cellular automata simulations. The book is designed to be used as a text in undergraduate courses dealing with complex systems and/or as a computational supplement to laboratory courses taught at the undergraduate level. This is the first textbook to be published out of the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity. More information on the text.

Congratulations to Drs. Kier, Syebold, and Cheng!

|| June 2005 ||                        

The most recent publication of new fellow, Dr. Aurelien Mazurie, who recently joined the Center from Université Paris VI (Pierre & Marie Curie), was evaluated by the 'Faculty of 1000' as a "Hidden Jewel" and a "must read". The paper, entitled "An evolutionary and functional assessment of regulatory network motifs", published in this month's issue of Genome Biology, by Dr. Mazurie and his colleagues, Dr. S. Bottani and M. Vergassola, from the Université de Paris VII, refutes the notion of network motifs as previously proposed. These over-represented patterns, found in macromolecular networks, have been proposed as structural and functional building blocks for these networks. The paper shows that the statistical abundance of motifs has no evident counterpart at the evolutionary and in vivo functional level. View Paper Abstract on PubMed

Congratulations to Dr. Mazurie and his colleagues!


BioTechniques|| June 2005 ||                        

Center fellow, Anthony Guiseppi-Elie, Sc.D., Professor and Director, Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Bioeletronics, Biosensors, and Biochips, profiled in June, 2005 issue of Biotechniques. Read Profile


BBSI|| May 2005 ||                        

The Bioinformatics and Bioengineering Summer Institute began its third year May 29, 2005. Fifteen students from all over the country will spend the summer in an intense research experience, exploring the possibilities of a career in bioinformatics or bioengineering. The year kicked off with the an VCU Bioinformatics/Bioengineering Summer Institute Opening Symposium 2005 in which students became acquainted with the research of VCU faculty. More Information on the BBSI .


|| May 2005 ||                        

Senior CSBC FellowTarynn M. Witten will serve on the Scientific Committee for the Society of Complexity in Acute Illness' 4th International Conference on Complexity in Acute Illness. The conference will be held September 29 - October 1, 2005 in Cologne, Germany. Chaired by Proefssor Dr. E. A. M. Neugebauer of the University of Cologne, the event's major purpose is to promote the development, interpretation and dissemination of research concerning all aspects of complex modeling of acute illness and its consequences. More Information.


A&B Applied Biosystems|| April 2005 ||                        

The CSBC and NARF will sponsor a short symposium by Applied Biosystems. The symposium will focus on Gene Expression Technology and Breast Cancer, Quantitative Gene Expression Analysis, and Validation of Gene Expression with RT PCR. All are invited to register and attend. More Information.


Double Helix|| March 2005 ||                        

VCU researchers identify networks of genes responding to alcohol in the brain: Journal of Neuroscience Article Describes Molecular Basis for Genetic Differences in Behavioral Responses to Ethanol. Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have identified several genetic changes in the brains of mice caused by ethanol, which may help researchers better understand how and why people become addicted to alcohol. Read Press Release.


Apple Distinguished Educator Award|| March 2005 ||                        

Tarynn M. Witten has been awarded a 2005 Apple Distinguished Educator Award by Apple computers. Dr. Tarynn M. Witten, Senior Fellow, Associate Professor, and Director of Research and Development at the VCU Center for the Study of Biological Complexity has been awarded a 2005 Apple Distinguished Educator award for her work in high performance computing in the biological and biomedical sciences. The Apple Distinguised Educator program (http://www.apple.com/education/ade) is a relationship program focused on educational excellence and leadership. Apple Distinguished Educators are members of a select group of K-12 and higher education professionals professing an identified expertise in educational technology leadership. This international group of over 450 educators numbers members in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

|| January 2005 ||                        

Dyer Laboratory of Populations Genetics hosts Apple and High Performance Computing: On February 1st CSBC Fellow Rodney Dyer's Laboratory of Population Genetics will host an Apple Seminar on using the XServe as a High Performance Computer. More Information.

|| January 2005 ||                        

2nd Annual Research Review showcases research of CSBC Fellows: On Wednesday, December 15th, 2004 Fellows of the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity presented their recent work in fields ranging from Biology to Mathematics to Medicinal Chemistry. Check back soon for a complete wrap up of the event.

Sun Microsystems|| January 2005 ||    

Sun Microsystems hi-lights CSBC's Virtual Parasite Project in its e-zine, "Boardroom Minutes" : The article emphasizes the scientific usage of Sun equipment for the project's large-scale computing tasks. Read the Article


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