Esteemed Cancer Researcher to Join New Wistar Institute Center

Esteemed Cancer Researcher to Join New Wistar Institute Center

November 11, 2007

(PHILADELPHIA -­ November 12, 2007) ­ Ramana Davuluri, Ph.D., has  accepted a leadership position in the Wistar Institute’s new Center  for Systems and Computational Biology. He will serve as associate  director and director of computational biology for the center and  will hold an endowed professorship.

Wistar’s Center for Systems and Computational Biology, located at the Institute at 3601 Spruce St., is under construction and slated to open in early 2008.

Davuluri, who will join Wistar as an associate professor in spring 2008, also will serve as scientific director of Wistar’s Cancer Center Bioinformatics Shared Facility. Currently, he is an associate professor and head of the bioinformatics consulting unit in the human cancer genetics program at the Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Wistar’s Center for Systems and Computational Biology will use advanced emerging technologies to identify biomarkers that provide an early warning of cancer and other diseases and support interdisciplinary scientific collaboration. It will benefit from newly refurbished, designated laboratory space outfitted with cutting-edge equipment. The center will capitalize on and expand Wistar’s existing strengths, giving the structural biology program greater computational power to conduct complex molecular modeling and the genomics program the expertise to develop new applications to better model complex data sets. The center also will train graduate students and host international visiting scientists.

Davuluri received his doctorate from the Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute in New Delhi and underwent postdoctoral training at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island. His research focuses on two closely related fundamental aspects of mammalian genomics and cancer: transcriptional regulation, a system of controls governing gene activation, and epigenetic modifications, which relate to a system of controls governing gene activation at different level of organization, from the individual gene to the structure of chromatin, the material that makes up chromosomes.

Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. Discoveries at Wistar have led to the creation of the rubella vaccine that eradicated the disease in the United States, human rabies vaccines used worldwide, and a new rotavirus vaccine approved in 2006. Today, Wistar is home to preeminent research programs studying skin cancer, lung cancer, and brain tumors. Wistar Institute Vaccine Center scientists are creating new vaccines against pandemic influenza, HIV, and other diseases threatening global health. The Institute works actively to transfer its inventions to the commercial sector to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the Web at www.wistar.org

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