News

Two UCSC faculty members--professor of computer science David Haussler and professor of philosophy David Hoy--have been appointed to UC Presidential Chairs on the Santa Cruz campus.

Chancellor Greenwood made the appointments, which will extend from July 1, 2000, through June 30, 2001, and may be renewed for up to two additional years. Annual support for each chair is approximately $45,000.

The emerging field of bioinformatics research and its application to the Human Genome Project is the subject of an articlein Science Daily: "Genome scientists muster computer software tools for handling the flood of raw data from the Human Genome Project and related efforts."

A new discipline has emerged at the intersection of computer science and biotechnology, bringing the power of advanced computational techniques to bear on complex problems in molecular biology. Called bioinformatics or computational biology, this new field is providing essential tools for scientists on the leading edge of research in genetics and other fundamental areas of biology.

The University of California, Santa Cruz recently received a $150,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of a professional masters degree program in bioinformatics put forth by the CBSE. The program is a collaborative effort between the School of Engineering and the Division of Natural Sciences.

Professor Harry Noller, Director of the UCSC Center for the Molecular Biology of RNA, and his team have solved the structure of the ribosome, the largest and most important macromolecular complex ever solved. The results were presented in a recent issue of Science.

The Genie gene finder, a collaborative project involving the UCSC computational biology group, the human genome informatics group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project, performed very well on a recent blind test of computational gene finding methods performed at Berkeley by the Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project, directed by Gerald Rubin. The test was called the Genome Annotation Assessment Project.

Professor Kevin Karplus has for the second time led a successful UCSC team in the international Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP). Participants submit structure models for different target proteins that have no published structure, and these predictions are compared with experimental models from x-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. The results are discussed in a recent paper in Proteins: Structure, Function and Genetics.