The prime intellectual mission of Brown University’s Center for Computational Molecular Biology (CCMB) is to promote the development, implementation and application of analytical and computational methods to foundational questions in the biological and medical sciences. The research programs of the Core Faculty in CCMB lie fundamentally at the intersection of computer science, evolutionary biology, mathematics, and molecular and cellular biology.
Biological questions that currently unite the CCMB Core and Associate Faculty are: How do genotypes and genes interact to produce phenotypes, and how does this happen from womb to tomb? What drives the formation, maintenance and evolutionary transformations of communities of organisms over time? Quantitative questions that currently unite the CCMB faculty are: how can we design powerful algorithms to make sense of the sea of data produced in the genomic era? What principles are required for a theoretical framework to completely model cellular systems?
The research challenges at the heart of CCMB are a rich source of mathematical problems motivated by the complex nature of genomes, disease processes and evolutionary relationships. These challenges are both multi-scale (with units of interest ranging from molecules to communities of organisms) and large-scale (data-intensive, due to advances in sequencing technologies). Thus, CCMB rounds out the broader landscape of research in methodological development at Brown University by partnering with and complementing the Data Science Initiative and the Brown Center for Biomedical Informatics.
In addition to these research interests, CCMB Faculty members are actively involved in the operation of Brown’s NIH-funded COBRE Center for the Computational Biology of Human Disease, and administer both an undergraduate concentration and an interdisciplinary doctoral program in Computational Biology.