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Lisa Herrmann
IU School of Informatics

Last modified: Wednesday, October 22, 2008

IU Informatics group receives $1.7 million in grants for bioinformatics research

Bioinformatics group receives trio of grants that will further life sciences research

Oct. 22, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A bioinformatics group within Indiana University's School of Informatics recently received three grants, two from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and one from Eli Lilly and Company. The grants will enhance IU's impact on life sciences research.

Lab Work

The NIH and Eli Lilly and Company grants will help develop bioinformatics research.

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The largest grant, from the NIH, is for $810,000 and spans three years. It will allow reserachers to develop methods to identify and quantify proteins from mass spectrometry experiments, enabling them to analyze patients' protein levels and identify the signatures of diseases, which is relevant for early diagnostics and treatment. Informatics professors Predrag Radivojac (principal investigator) and Haixu Tang will work on the project, along with Randy Arnold, David Clemmer, James Reilly and Richard DiMarchi -- all from IU's chemistry department.

The second NIH grant, worth $770,000 over three years, was awarded to Professor Yuzhen Ye, with Professor Haixu Tang as co-principal investigator. The two will conduct research as part of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP), a project seeking to generate resources for comprehensive characterization of the human microbiota (the microbes living within human beings). Developing computational tools that can interpret the large volume of complex data is an extremely important part of the project, and Ye's team will be working on that part of the project with this grant. For more information on the Human Microbiome Project, visit

The third grant, for $140,000, was awarded by Eli Lilly and Company. Principal investigators Haixu Tang and Yehia Mechref will be developing software tools for lipidomics analysis. Tang's team will partner with the chemical discovery group at Eli Lilly and Company to develop software for automatically monitoring the dynamic changes of lipid classes inside cells after drug treatment.

"We are so pleased that our bioinformatics group has received such prestigious grant funding," said Bobby Schnabel, dean of the IU School of Informatics. "These types of grants are important, not just to the school, but to the larger community. The tools that will come out of these research projects will have a lasting impact on the life sciences industry, and will likely help many people over time."

About IU's School of Informatics

Founded in 2000 as the first school of its kind in the United States, the Indiana University School of Informatics is dedicated to research and teaching across a broad range of computing and information technology, with emphases on science, applications and societal implications. The school includes the Departments of Computer Science and Informatics on the Bloomington campus and Informatics on the IUPUI campus. The school administers a variety of bachelor and masters degree programs in computer science and informatics, as well as PhD programs in computer science and the first-ever PhD in informatics. The school is dedicated to excellence in education and research, to partnerships that bolster economic development and entrepreneurship, and to increasing opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities in computing and technology. For more information, visit