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Frontiers at the Interface between Computing and Biology

Project Scope

This project will explore trends, challenges, and opportunities at the intersection of computing and biology research. The analysis would include a survey of current areas of study that take advantage of synergies between the two fields and would also examine emerging research topics and potential new programs that can be expected to have an impact on computing and biology in the next five to twenty years. The scope of this exploration will be broad, with expected topics as diverse as computational modeling of biological systems, data representation and access, and biologically-inspired computer software and systems.

To extend the expertise present within the committee, there will be several focused workshops in areas of significant potential impact. In addition, the committee will discuss issues that will affect the interdisciplinary research, including technical, institutional, cultural, and educational barriers to productive collaborations. Building on diverse inputs and committee deliberations, the committee will offer recommendations on the relative maturity and value of specific areas of research at the intersection between computing and biology and on practical approaches to fostering more collaborative work between the two research communities. A primary audience for the report is expected to be funding agencies, especially DARPA and NIH. Interest is also expected from NSF, DOE, and HHMI.

Committee Members

John C. Wooley, University of California, San Diego, Chair
Adam P. Arkin, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Eric Brill, Microsoft Research Labs
Robert M. Corn, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Chris Diorio, University of Washington
Leah Edelstein-Keshet, University of British Columbia
Mark H. Ellisman, University of California, San Diego
Marcus W. Feldman, Stanford University
Terry Gaasterland, Rockefeller University
David K. Gifford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Takeo Kanade, Carnegie Mellon University
Stephen S. Laderman, Agilent Laboratories
James S. Schwaber, Thomas Jefferson Medical College


Herb Lin, Senior Scientist (Study Director)
Robin Schoen, Program Officer
Charles N. Brownstein, Director

Related Publications from Other CSTB Projects

Networking Health: Prescriptions for the Internet (CSTB, 2000)
For the Record: Protecting Electronic Health Information (CSTB, 1997)
Evolving the High Performance Computing and Communications Initiative to Support the Nation's Information Infrastructure (CSTB, 1995)
National Collaboratories Applying Information Technology for Scientific Research (CSTB, 1993)
Computing the Future: A Broader Agenda for Computer Science and Engineering (CSTB, 1992)
"Computing and Molecular Biology: Mapping and Interpreting Biological Information" (CSTB, 1991; published in CACM and IEEE Computer


Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
National Science Foundation
National Institutes of Health
Department of Energy