The CSBi Technology Platform
One of CSBi's primary objectives is the development of an institute-wide technology infrastructure, the CSBi Technology Platform, that provides MIT researchers with access to complex technologies. CSBi has identified several technologies that will be required to advance systems biology at MIT. Each technology is treated as a core competency distributed across multiple facilities and labs. When integrated, these core competencies will serve as an enabling research infrastructure, including fee-for-service facilities and technology development centers.
The Platform is actively managed by a group of faculty and supported by a network of CSBi Research Staff who act as links among the disparate computational and experimental facilities and engage in systems biology research and training.
The CSBi Technology Platform has four mandates
- Service - providing training, equipment, methods and materials for researchers requiring access to sophisticated computational and experimental technologies;
- Research - engaging in technology-driven research and in the development of novel devices, instrumentation and computational capabilities;
- Education - providing support for wet-bench work in lab courses and computing work in computational courses;
- Outreach - hosting summer students and visiting scientists from academia and industry, and developing a mechanism for easy public access to research tools and data.
- Imaging and Image Informatics - Hardware, software and methods development for the acquisition and computational analysis of optical, EM and CT images.
- Microsystems - Fabrication and testing of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) that incorporate microfluidic, optical and microelectronic components that enhance the study of biological systems.
- Molecular Genetics and Genomics
- Modeling, Information Technolog, and Bioinformatics - Interface with groups that provide hardware, software and programming expertise for processing biological data and building numerical models at different levels of abstraction.
- Protein Biophysics - Access to specialized instrumentation for performing biophysical measurements and interface with groups doing advanced proteomics research.
- Synthetic Biology - Registry of Standard Parts
Under the direction of CSBi faculty, the CSBi Research Staff is charged with the task of building the CSBi Technology Platform by improving existing and inventing new technologies, and by linking dispersed capabilities from across MIT. These individuals are based in existing labs and facilities, but unlike conventional facility staff, they coordinate the activities needed to create unified technology competencies. In addition to their research responsibilities, the CSBi Research Staff serves as a single point of contact for researchers who seek assistance in methods outside their primary expertise, an essential aspect of interdisciplinary research. Finally, the CSBi Research Staff is involved in CSBi-related training and outreach activities including hosting of visiting scientists from acadamia and industry.
The location of the CSBi Research Staff is indicated in the map of the CSBi Technology Platform shown at the right.
Contact information is listed in each of the technology areas:
Al Davis, High-Performance Computing
James Evans, Imaging and Image Informatics
Debby Pheasant, Protein Biophysics
Randy Rettberg, Registry of Standard Biological Parts and Synthetic Biology