COBRE: UID: PROJ 3: Evolution of Protein Flexibility (FY 2005)
The Center for Research on Processes in Evolution (CRePE) at the University of Idaho (UI) will bring together scientists that have expertise in evolutionary biology, structural biology, molecular biology, ecology,, computational biology, genetic programming, and statistics to investigate the relative importance of various mutagenic processes on the tempo and trajectory of adaptive evolution, to detect and understand the functional significance of patterns that emerge during the course of evolution, and develop computational approaches that improve our ability to understand the evolutionary history of functional domains in proteins, structural genes, and entire genomes. The fundamental knowledge gained from these studies will be of broad significance to biomedical science and provide insights to the mechanisms and significance of genetic variation in populations and how adaptive evolution shapes the phenotypic characteristics of all living organisms. The specific aims of the Center are: (1) Establish a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence at the University of Idaho that facilitates theoretical and empirical research by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists in order to increase understanding of evolutionary processes. (2) Expand and enhance the ability of existing Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology Core Facilities to support the research and education activities of participating faculty and other researchers and students at the University of Idaho. (3) Establish a Core Facility in Structural Biology at the University of Idaho participating faculty and other researchers and students at the University of Idaho to study protein structure. (4) Establish an administrative structure for the Center that foster interdisciplinary collaboration, mentors faculty, and monitors research projects to identify areas and findings that could form the basis of a new competitive research proposal. The participating researchers will increase their competitiveness for extramural funding by developing a more holistic understanding of research opportunities in biological and computational sciences, as well as by establishing productive collaborations with investigators from other fields both at UI and elsewhere. Funding will also be used to enhance the capabilities of Core Facilities in Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology and to establish a third in Structural Biology. These resources will provide CREPE investigators access to advanced analytical instrumentation, computational hardware and software, as well as the expertise and technical support. In addition, these improvements to the UI research infrastructure will be used for the instruction of undergraduate and graduate students at UI and thereby provide broad benefit.