NIMBioS Celebrates First Year With More Than 400 Participating Scientists, Scholars

KNOXVILLE – The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, celebrates its one-year anniversary this month, and thus far, more than 400 individuals from 15 countries and 43 states have participated in various research and educational activities.

Located on the UT Knoxville campus, NIMBioS focuses on advancing research and education at the interface of biology and mathematics. Programs for visitors to NIMBioS facilities began in March 2009, including working groups, investigative workshops, tutorials, and educational opportunities.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $16 million over five years to UT Knoxville to establish the institute. NIMBioS’ five-year budget includes $8.2 million for salaries, stipends, and benefits as well as $1.6 million for local accommodations and meals for visiting scholars. The NSF grant may be extended for an additional five years following NSF review of its activities in 2013.

NIMBioS already has created 25 new jobs in Knoxville, of which 17 positions are filled as of September. Twenty-one jobs are full-time including benefits. NIMBioS will employ 50 post-doctoral fellows over the next five years and provide summer stipends for 60 students — undergraduates and graduates — and high school teachers to attend NIMBioS programs.

Job creation at UT Knoxville and expenditures associated with NIMBioS will help support as many as 50 private sector jobs in the local community, along with additional private income in excess of $1 million per year, according to Matthew Murray of UT’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

NIMBioS aims to address key biological questions using approaches that reach across traditional scientific disciplines, at the same time developing a nationwide team of researchers who are can apply these cross-discipline techniques and enhance their use.

NIMBioS encourages multidisciplinary participation in all its activities. Thus, participants have come from many different scientific fields, including ecology and evolutionary biology, epidemiology, genetics, statistics, bioinformatics, and computational science, among others. Participants have also included researchers and wildlife managers from state and federal agencies and non-profit organizations. Students in grades 4-12, undergraduates, graduate students, and middle and high school teachers have participated in educational and research programs at NIMBioS.

“We are pleased that NIMBioS has already had an impact and look forward to providing more opportunities for scientists, educators, and students interested in pursuing research or developing a greater understanding of the applications of modern math and computational science in biology,” said Louis Gross, NIMBioS director and UT Knoxville professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and mathematics.

For more information about NIMBioS research opportunities and educational programs, visit www.nimbios.org

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) brings together researchers from around the world to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to investigate solutions to basic and applied problems in the life sciences. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture with additional support from UT Knoxville.

C O N T A C T :

Catherine Crawley, (865-974-9350, ccrawley@nimbios.org)

Jay Mayfield (865-974-9409, jay.mayfield@tennessee.edu)

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