Dr. Yang Cao Receives NSF CAREER Award

Publish Date: 01/27/2010

The Computer Science Department is proud to announce that Dr. Yang Cao has been awarded the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for his proposal titled " Multiscale Stochastic Simulation for Complex Biochemical Systems with Visualization Tools." The CAREER award is the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research.

Dr. Cao's area of research in Computational Biology is an interdisciplinary area that integrates biological discovery with mathematical modeling and simulation. Under his CAREER award, Dr. Cao will focus on development of theory and techniques to adaptively analyze multiscale features of biological systems in order to design efficient simulation strategies.

The methods developed in Dr. Cao's project will be applied to the stochastic cell cycle model pioneered by Virginia Tech professor Dr. John Tyson (Biological Sciences). The cell cycle is the sequence of events whereby a living cell replicates its components and divides them between two daughter cells, so that each daughter has the information and machinery necessary to repeat the process. The cell cycle is related to many diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating the cell cycle is a major challenge of contemporary cell biology. Biologists have developed complex mathematical models of cell-cycle control in budding yeast, fission yeast, and mammalian cells. These systems are so complex that their simulation and analysis present great challenges to computational science. The goal of Dr. Cao's research will be to provide efficient simulation techniques for the development of more complicated and more realistic cell cycle models.

Dr. Cao is a member of the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics group within the Computer Science Department. Dr. Cao is the 4th CAREER award recipient in the department in the last three years.

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Dr. Cao