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2008.03.14 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Researchers Receive NSF Grant to Integrate Bioinformatics into the Life Sciences

Omaha - Researchers at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) have received a two-year grant from the National Science Foundation in the amount of $149,817 for a curriculum development project in bioinformatics.

The UNO research team, led by Dr. Mark Pauley from the College of Information Science and Technology, will develop, test and disseminate a set of six curriculum modules in bioinformatics that can be integrated into curricula in the biological sciences, computer science and other disciplines.

Other participating faculty are Dr. Hesham Ali and Dr. Parvathi Chundi (Computer Science), and Dr. Guoqing Lu and Dr. William Tapprich (Biology).

Bioinformatics is a relatively young discipline that integrates mathematical and computational techniques with biological knowledge to analyze genetic information. Bioinformatics techniques are playing an increasingly important role in the biosciences, including medical diagnostics, pharmacogenomics and agricultural and industrial biotechnology. UNO offers a Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics undergraduate degree (BSBI) which is one of only a handful of its kind in the United States and one of only 14 of its kind in the world, according to the International Society for Computational Biology.

The grant will support the development of curriculum modules that integrated bioinformatics into the life sciences. In addition, a curriculum module will be adapted to introduce bioinformatics at the high school level. The project team will pilot test the module in a few select schools in the Omaha area, and then offer a special workshop for high school teachers over the summer.

Results of the project will be made available on a Web site, which will be submitted as a resource to the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) and the NSDL Pathway for Biological Science Education.

For more information, call (402) 554-2762.

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UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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