James Cassatt
What if biologists gave grant awards to mathematicians and computer wizards to study complex human systems--and no one showed up? The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is tackling this exact problem. For the last three years, the institute has created new grant initiatives to support a widening area of interest involving medical science and biocomplexity--specifically, the interactions, couplings, modeling, and computational analysis of multifaceted cell and organ systems.

Unlike its robust environmental counterpart, the National Science Foundation,1 NIGMS has had some trouble finding mathematical and engineering talent. "One of our pushes has been to get people from other disciplines into the biological sciences to do the kind of modeling we're talking about," said James Cassatt, director, Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics at NIGMS. "For example, we have a supplement program that we fund for scientists who want to do [computational] modeling on an...

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