After a 2-year process, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has named University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Professor Eric Jakobsson the first director of its Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB).

Jakobsson replaces James Cassatt, director of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) NIGMS Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics, who had served as CBCB's acting director since the center was established in 2001.  The new director holds dual professorships in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and in the programs of biophysics, neuroscience, and bioengineering at Urbana-Champaign. He will continue to lead research groups at the university, but will not have teaching responsibilities.

"It's very good news that NIH finally got someone to move forward with BISTI [the Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative]," said Larry Smarr, the founder of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology. "The BISTI report was presented in...

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