Faloutsos Team Wins $2.5 Million from the NSF for Bio-Molecular Imaging


October 8, 2003

A team of Carnegie Mellon faculty received $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of a five-year, $9.4 million multi-institutional grant from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Co-principal investigators on the award for Next-Generation Bio-Molecular Imaging and Information Discovery are Robert Murphy, Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering; Christos Faloutsos, Professor of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering; Tom Mitchell, Fredkin Professor of CS and Director, Center for Automated Learning and Discovery; and Jelena Kovacevic, Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

Murphy collected and analyzed the fluorescence patterns from many proteins within a cell to create standard subcellular location features (SLFs). These SLF fingerprints, form the basis of Murphys software and are capable of determining the subcellular location of proteins from previously unseen images. Working with the extensive collection of SLFs, the group will investigate different subcellular features to characterize a larger number of fluorescence images for future use, so they can compare them with newly acquired images. This will further develop methods in data mining and pattern recognition, techniques used to discover and classify patterns in data.

The ultimate goal of the project, which includes participants from the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of California, Berkeley; and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is to develop new information processing technologies that enable researchers to extract detailed information from images that depict the distribution of biological molecules within cells. All of their results will be integrated with efforts at the collaborating institutions to provide a comprehensive set of tools for biological researchers and educate graduate students in the emerging field of computational biology, Murphy said. The award was one of eight large grants made this year by the NSFs Information Technology Research Program.

Headshot of Christos Faloutsos

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Christos Faloutsos