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The Interdisciplinary Scientist of the 21st Century

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  1. The Interdisciplinary Scientist of the 21st Century Eric Jakobsson Director, NIGMS Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Chair, NIH Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative Consortium For the DIMACS Conference on Mathematics and Biology in the High Schools April 29, 2005

  2. Major Problems in American Education • We are not training American biology researchers with quantitative skills at even close to a rate to sustain, let alone advance, American biology. • A large number of Americans are fundamentally ignorant about biology, both in practical and theoretical terms. For example, about 50% of Americans do not believe in evolution….

  3. …In spite of the obvious evidence; i.e., “The relative position of our features is manifestly the same; and the various emotions are displayed by nearly similar, movements of the muscles and skin, chiefly above the eyebrows and round the mouth.”----Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

  4. The interdisciplinary scientist of the 18th Century

  5. From: Isaac Newton: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy RULE II Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes. As to respiration in a man, and in a beast; the descent of stones in Europe and in America; the light of`our culinary fire and of the sun; the reflection of light in the earth, and in the planets

  6. Every Page of a modern Molecular Biology Text is based on physics that did not exist in the 19th Century • 1901Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen—x-rays • 1902Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, Pieter Zeeman---electromagnetism • 1903Antoine Henri Becquerel, Pierre Curie, Marie Curie—radiation • 1905Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard—cathode rays • 1914Max Theodor Felix von Laue—discovery of x-ray diffraction • 1915Sir William Henry Bragg, Sir William Lawrence Bragg---crystal structure by X-ray

  7. 1918Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck---energy quanta • 1921Albert Einstein---photoelectric effect and Brownian motion • 1925James Franck, Gustav Ludwig Herz—interaction of electrons with atoms • 1926Jean Baptiste Perrin---sedimentation equilibration • 1929Prince Louis-Victor Pierre Raymond de Broglie---wave nature of electrons • 1930Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman---Light (Raman) scattering

  8. 1933 Erwin Schrodinger, Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac---prediction of the positron • 1936 Victor Franz Hess, Carl David Anderson---experimental discovery of the positron • 1944 Isidor Isaac Rabi—discovered magnetic resonance of nuclei • 1952 Felix Bloch, Edward Mills Purcell---precision measurement of magnetic resonance • 1953 Frits Zernike---Invented the phase contrast microscope • 1956William Shockley, John Bardeen, Walter Houser Brattain—discovery of the transistor effect. • 1961 Robert Hofstadter, Rudolf L. Moessbauer—the state of metals in biomolecules.

  9. 1964 Charles H. Townes, Nikolai G. Basov, Alexander M. Prokhorov—atomic physics underlying the invention of lasers. • 1973Leo Esaki, Ivar Giaever, Brian D. Josephson—tunneling phenomena in semiconductors

  10. TOP TEN ADVANCES IN BIOMEDICAL COMPUTING IN THE LAST DECADE • Sequence alignment tools. • Dissemination of bioinformatics tools on the Web • Computational model of HIV infection---1996 • Establishment of computer networks for surveillance of disease. • Identification of genes for disease susceptibility. • Tomography • Enabling Systems Biomedicine. • Modeling electrical behavior of neurons and other electrically excitable tissue. • Telemedicine. • Computer-aided Prosthetic Design.

  11. TOP TEN CHALLENGES IN BIOMEDICAL COMPUTING FOR THE NEXT DECADE • In silico screening of drug compounds. • Predicting function from structure of complex molecules at an engineering level of precision. • Accurate, efficient, and comprehensive dynamical models of spread of infectious disease. • Integration of the computational tools of systems biology into an integrated computational environment for information-based modeling of pathways, networks, cells, and tissues. • Computerization of the health care delivery system. • Prediction of protein structure to the point where all protein sequences have associated accurate structures. • Complete annotation of the genomes of selected model organisms. • Intelligent systems for mining biomedical literature • Tuning biomedical computing software to hardware. • Utilizing computational biology tools in education

  12. What kind of scientists and citizens do we need to educate to meet those challenges? • The beginning • Thanks for your attention and your commitment to building a good future.