Pilot Awards

The goal of the COBRE Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease (CBHD) Pilot Award Program is to identify and support activities of talented junior investigators working on human disease related questions that require computational analyses of complex data sets. Awardees gain access to the Computational Biology Core of staff data scientists who assist with data analysis. In addition, awardees may be considered for eventual recruitment to a Project Leader position in the COBRE CBHD program as existing Project Leaders attain their own independent funding and graduate from COBRE support.

The Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease awards two Pilot awards of $25,000 each year for 1-year projects. The call for proposal will appear on this page and on the home page of our website when it is released.


Active Pilot Awards

Congratulations to Lorin Crawford and Iuliana Ene our second recipients of the COBRE CBHD Pilot Award Program!

Lorin Crawford Head Shot
Lorin Crawford

Marginal Epistasis Tests for Dichotomous Traits Using Generalized Linear Models

Epistasis, commonly defined as the interaction between genetic loci, has long been hypothesized to play a key role in defining the genetic architecture underlying complex traits. However, despite the recent strong evidence of pervasive epistasis in many array- and sequence-based genome-wide association studies, statistical methods for powerfully mapping epistatic effects remain in their infancy. Existing epistatic mapping methods explicitly search over all pairwise or higher-order interactions when identifying significant nonlinear effects among genome-wide variants.

Iuliana Ene Head shot
Iuliana Ene

Defining the Roles of Perseverance and Heteroresistance in Persistent Fungal Infections

Candida species are a frequent and serious cause of bloodstream infections in the clinic.  Despite access to several antifungal drugs, systemic infections are associated with mortality rates that can exceed 40%.  In many patients, the organism persists in the bloodstream during antifungal treatment, despite the fact that recovered isolates are not drug resistant when tested in vitro.  The mechanisms responsible for such clinical persistence are unknown, but persistence is critically associated with therapeutic failure, recurrent infection and reduced survival.  Our preliminary studies indic

Ashley Webb, PhD

Genome-wide Interplay between the Pro-longevity FOXO Transcription Factors

Aging is a major risk factor for a number of diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, and cancer. However, the mechanisms responsible for aging remain poorly understood. Work from our lab and others has linked a particular family of proteins, known as FOXOs, to healthy aging in various species, including humans. The goal of this project is to understand how the different FOXO family members contribute to cellular maintenance in humans.

Peter Belenky head shot
Peter Belenky,PhD

Changes in Community Structure and Functional Responses of the Human Microbiome During Antibiotic Treatment in the Outpatient Setting

Current antibiotic therapy can lead to microbiome-related complications and shifts in microbial populations that can contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance. The work proposed here will transcriptionally profile the impacts of antibiotics on the composition and function of the oral microbiome in clinical samples.This functional information can identify therapies that utilize our current arsenal of antimicrobials more effectively in order to combat the impending antibiotic resistance crisis